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Chris Hennes

Pickled Mustard Identification

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I was at our local megamart last night and started tossing packages of pickled mustard into the basket. Just in Every Grain of Rice alone Dunlop lists six different varieties of pickled mustard, and I'm assuming there are actually many more out there. I came home with four that I'd never tried before, but now I need help relating these to the six that Dunlop lists. Maybe in some cases they are literally the same product, or maybe they have some resemblance, or maybe they are fundamentally different. I have no way of knowing! The six that Dunlop lists are (using her characters and translations here):

  1. "Olive" vegetable (gan lan vai)
  2. Pickled mustard greens (suan cai, pao cai)
  3. Sichuan preserved vegetable (zha cai)
  4. Sichuanese ya cai (ya cai)
  5. Snow vegetable (xue cai, xue li hong)
  6. Tianjin preserved vegetable (dong cai)

Now, here are the four packages that I came home with:

 

1)

DSC_4105.jpg

 

2)

DSC_4106.jpg

 

3)

DSC_4108.jpg

 

4)

DSC_4109.jpg

 

Do any of these packages map to what she is talking about? 

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I only recognize the first one - I've seen it in my local Thai store - they said it's the typical pickled mustard used as an accompaniment to Khao Soi - and indeed, looks like what I had in Thailand with it.  Make sure you thoroughly drain the yellow liquid, and rinse/drain the mustard well - the packaging liquid is disgusting.

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How does this mustard relate to what a westerner would call mustard? 

Looks nothing like the plant or the product to me. 

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hi! Picture 1 is Category two - 酸菜 Pickled mustard greens from Vietnam, Picture 2 is 榨菜sichuan preserved veg, Picture 3 doesn't say - you've taken a picture of the brand name, not the description. But it's written in complex characters, so not from mainland China, Picture 4 is japanese pickled veg - so won't fit into the categories at all! 

Hope this helps! 

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1) 酸菜 suān cài

 

2) 榨菜 zhà cài

 

3) this view of the package doesn't say what it is.

 

4) Don't know, but it appears to be Taiwanese. It says 高采 gāo cǎi (literally 'tall vegetable'.)

 

Of your original 6, the Chinese characters are

 

1) 橄榄采  gǎn lǎn cǎi  - I've never known this to contain mustard, though. It is Chinese olive paste.

 

2) and 3) as above

 

4) 芽菜 yá cài

 

yacai.thumb.jpg.e20b808c89a259d1e0d446331d9ea4ca.jpg

ya cai

 

5) 雪菜 xuě cài

 

xuecai1-Medium.jpg

xue cai

 

6) 天津冬菜  tiān jīn dōng cài

 

As you surmise, there are several other mustard preparations.

 


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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5 hours ago, gfweb said:

How does this mustard relate to what a westerner would call mustard? 

Looks nothing like the plant or the product to me. 


Yeah, I agree that none of @Chris Hennes's photos seem to depict what I am familiar with as the mustard plants that grow here. We got several loads of otherwise very nice black and loamy topsoil to establish a lawn in Vermont, that was contaminated with mustard seeds. We tried to eliminate them by pulling them by the roots, cooking and eating them. The damned things reseed themselves and winter over a few miles from the Canadian border. My dad liked them, so we kept having to eat them, but I hated them enough, I've never tried them again.

 

@liuzhou's photos (excuse me, I have to go throw a 3" long, 3/8" diameter millipede outside :wacko:) show chopped greens that could have come from the mustard plants that grew in our yard.

 

Maybe, after draining, Chris's fourth photo might resemble the mustard greens that grow here. It does not appear to be in its packaging, though.

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48 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

OK, here are a couple more photos of the one I only had the front of before:


The first is Zhacai (榨菜  zhà cài) with chili oil.

 

The Second is Wenzhou* Local Flavor Pickles (溫州風味 wēn zhōu fēng wèi)

 

Are you able to get a better shot of the top of the front of this one, where there is some unclear Chinese on a blue sky and green fields(?) background? It may help or may not.

 

* a city in Zhejiang Province.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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