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Chinese Pickles and Preserves


liuzhou
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My favorite house made kimchi from a local Korean market is young radish which uses the daikon and the leaves as you show, I also like keeping a big pot of radish in the yard for the leaves. They sprout so quickly and produce well. I just snip to use in salads and soups. I've never used the dried form you show.

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I wasn't planning to get to this yet, but since it has come up (my fault entirely) in this topic, I'll deal with it now.

 

10. 黑蒜 (hēi suàn) - Black Garlic

 

1133113494_Blackgarlic.thumb.jpg.35d11eecd7753c31777b99d1d0ab6449.jpg

 

I guess I first have to address whether or not 'black garlic' is Chinese in origin. The answer is "I don't know." But, neither does anyone else. There are dozens of websites offering to tell you the history of this product; few do. Others make ridiculous claims and yet others just repeat what the ridiculous ones said. Wikipedia, not usually shy of inaccuracies and downright nonsense, just ignores the history completely, only showing this.

 

1970223067_wikiblackgarlic.thumb.jpg.a1a7ddbf8ca6a7e5101f5e436f65de1c.jpg

The two most absurd claims concern Korea (not that these rule out Korea as the source, just not in these accounts). In 2004, a Korean entrepreneur patented a machine to produce black garlic on an industrial scale. By the time he moved to the USA in 2008, he seems to have become over-excited and started claiming that he invented the stuff! His company is now America’s top supplier. Great marketing, useless history. I know this for a fact! I first ate black garlic in Changsha, China 7 years before he invented it!

Then we have the British garlic farmer who claimed even later to have discovered a 4,000-year-old Korean recipe for black garlic and tried it out. Somehow, he imagined that this meant he had invented it. Sorry mate, but if you discover a recipe and make it, you have invented precisely nothing! Interestingly, he seems to have since lost that ancient recipe and so has never actually produced it in evidence. Very convenient. More marketing BS.

 

Another site mentions that it went from Korea to Taiwan, before being introduced to the rest of the world, including mainland China in 2010. Yeah! Right! And tea was introduced to Britain by Alaskan monks in 1953, after being invented by an Australian sheep farmer in 1412 .

 

There is credible evidence that the 4th century BC Chinese classic Tao Te Ching (道德经 - dào dé jīng), the ‘bible’ of Daoism, mentions black garlic, although that tome is notoriously difficult to translate. Even Chinese scholars find it very difficult to interpret accurately. There are also plausible mentions in ancient Korean and Japanese documents.

What I do know is that black garlic is definitely sold in China, so I think it can be mentioned here. You have to search it out – it certainly isn’t mainstream, but not difficult to find. The current supply I have is from Shandong Province on China’s east coast, also home to Confucius and Mao Zedong’s wife, Jiang Qing (who committed suicide in prison after Mao’s death) – maybe one of them invented it!

The other main thing to say about black garlic is that, again despite claims on websites which should know better, it isn’t fermented in any accepted definition of fermentation. It is cooked. It is preserved, however.

 

Whole bulbs of regular garlic are held at a temperature of 60℃ to 90℃ in a humidity of 80% to 90% for weeks or even months. You can do this at home using a slow cooker or rice cooker. However, only if you have very tolerant house companions and neighbours. It smells extremely garlicky, especially in the first couple of weeks. Most online recipes suggest processing it in a garage or outhouse, should you have one.

Recipe here.

 

Probably better to buy commercially processed garlic - once done, there  is virtually no smell.

 

1957034737_BlackGarlic.thumb.jpg.435b69fb9d0fa473f261b1df903bc7ec.jpg

 

The garlic undergoes a Maillard reaction and eventually turns soft and sticky. It loses all the sharp, slightly bitter taste of raw, unprocessed garlic and instead becomes sweet and reminds many people, including me, of balsamic vinegar, but without the acidity.

I get two types. The first, from regular heads, is in the first picture above, but my preference is for this single-headed garlic from SIchuan, 黑独蒜 (hēi dú suàn).

1721427713_.thumb.jpg.b86a005387e322c6ace3832cabbcec06.jpg

It can be eaten as is or added to salads, stir fries, etc. I like to crush it into mashed potatoes or just serve with rice. Black garlic mayo. Black garlic vinaigrette. The list goes on.


Black garlic cookie, anyone?

 

412274514_Blackgarliccookies2.thumb.jpg.1e3ae2723a5967bc5f4a2c8765db0d27.jpg

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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11. 酸豆角 (suān dòu jué, literally pickled bean horn); Pickled Yard-Long-Beans (Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis)

 

豆角 (dòu jué) is a generic term covering all sorts of green beans, but it is the name used in the market where I bought these. Actually, they are 长豇豆 (cháng jiāng dòu); meaning “long cow peas”, a type of “yard-long-bean”. In fact, they are not a yard long, instead being around half that, at 18 inches/46cm which is the meaning of the Latin sesquipedalis or “one-and-a-half-foot-long”.

 

These are a very popular pickle, often home made, but also available in markets and supermarkets. They are cured in brine with spices, often chili and sold in bunches like this.


1254275406_PickledLongBeans.thumb.jpg.91134384f306cd05a318d83b092ec267.jpg


They are chopped up and served over rice, porridge etc or added to stir fries. They are also just served as a side dish with other dishes.

 

They are also sold factory made in supermarkets and mom and pop stores as a snack. The pickled bean pods are again chopped, then mixed with chili, ginger, garlic, chili oil, etc. As well, as being a snack, people often mix them with noodle or rice dishes.

 

1105918199_pickledcowpea11024.thumb.jpg.24a855f15c804959a75007af910f1043.jpg

 

Fuchsia Dunlop's The Food of Sichuan (eG-friendly Amazon.com link) gives a recipe for curing the beans and then cooking them with minced/ground pork.

 

The same unpickled beans are  also preserved by drying, in which case they are rehydrated and sliced then added to soups, hotpots and stir fries.

 

1610978075_DriedLongBeans.thumb.jpg.d9580e76d2915edeb8014e612a9d6ff9.jpg

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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On 7/6/2021 at 8:12 PM, liuzhou said:

I wasn't planning to get to this yet, but since it has come up (my fault entirely) in this topic, I'll deal with it now.

 

10. 黑蒜 (hēi suàn) - Black Garlic

 

1133113494_Blackgarlic.thumb.jpg.35d11eecd7753c31777b99d1d0ab6449.jpg

 

I guess I first have to address whether or not 'black garlic' is Chinese in origin. The answer is "I don't know." But, neither does anyone else. There are dozens of websites offering to tell you the history of this product; few do. Others make ridiculous claims and yet others just repeat what the ridiculous ones said. Wikipedia, not usually shy of inaccuracies and downright nonsense, just ignores the history completely, only showing this.

 

1970223067_wikiblackgarlic.thumb.jpg.a1a7ddbf8ca6a7e5101f5e436f65de1c.jpg

The two most absurd claims concern Korea (not that these rule out Korea as the source, just not in these accounts). In 2004, a Korean entrepreneur patented a machine to produce black garlic on an industrial scale. By the time he moved to the USA in 2008, he seems to have become over-excited and started claiming that he invented the stuff! His company is now America’s top supplier. Great marketing, useless history. I know this for a fact! I first ate black garlic in Changsha, China 7 years before he invented it!

Then we have the British garlic farmer who claimed even later to have discovered a 4,000-year-old Korean recipe for black garlic and tried it out. Somehow, he imagined that this meant he had invented it. Sorry mate, but if you discover a recipe and make it, you have invented precisely nothing! Interestingly, he seems to have since lost that ancient recipe and so has never actually produced it in evidence. Very convenient. More marketing BS.

 

Another site mentions that it went from Korea to Taiwan, before being introduced to the rest of the world, including mainland China in 2010. Yeah! Right! And tea was introduced to Britain by Alaskan monks in 1953, after being invented by an Australian sheep farmer in 1412 .

 

There is credible evidence that the 4th century BC Chinese classic Tao Te Ching (道德经 - dào dé jīng), the ‘bible’ of Daoism, mentions black garlic, although that tome is notoriously difficult to translate. Even Chinese scholars find it very difficult to interpret accurately. There are also plausible mentions in ancient Korean and Japanese documents.

What I do know is that black garlic is definitely sold in China, so I think it can be mentioned here. You have to search it out – it certainly isn’t mainstream, but not difficult to find. The current supply I have is from Shandong Province on China’s east coast, also home to Confucius and Mao Zedong’s wife, Jiang Qing (who committed suicide in prison after Mao’s death) – maybe one of them invented it!

The other main thing to say about black garlic is that, again despite claims on websites which should know better, it isn’t fermented in any accepted definition of fermentation. It is cooked. It is preserved, however.

 

Whole bulbs of regular garlic are held at a temperature of 60℃ to 90℃ in a humidity of 80% to 90% for weeks or even months. You can do this at home using a slow cooker or rice cooker. However, only if you have very tolerant house companions and neighbours. It smells extremely garlicky, especially in the first couple of weeks. Most online recipes suggest processing it in a garage or outhouse, should you have one.

Recipe here.

 

Probably better to buy commercially processed garlic - once done, there  is virtually no smell.

 

1957034737_BlackGarlic.thumb.jpg.435b69fb9d0fa473f261b1df903bc7ec.jpg

 

The garlic undergoes a Maillard reaction and eventually turns soft and sticky. It loses all the sharp, slightly bitter taste of raw, unprocessed garlic and instead becomes sweet and reminds many people, including me, of balsamic vinegar, but without the acidity.

I get two types. The first, from regular heads, is in the first picture above, but my preference is for this single-headed garlic from SIchuan, 黑独蒜 (hēi dú suàn).

1721427713_.thumb.jpg.b86a005387e322c6ace3832cabbcec06.jpg

It can be eaten as is or added to salads, stir fries, etc. I like to crush it into mashed potatoes or just serve with rice. Black garlic mayo. Black garlic vinaigrette. The list goes on.


Black garlic cookie, anyone?

 

412274514_Blackgarliccookies2.thumb.jpg.1e3ae2723a5967bc5f4a2c8765db0d27.jpg

 

Very interesting. It may be hard to figure out the actual origin of black garlic, and it can actually be developed in depdently in differentplaces, but to me, it is someting asian.

wipidedia, and claims of who invented dishes, are sometimes funny but also very weird. For example, i have read that Avocado Toast wwas invented last century in Brisbane, Australia. C'mon, 10.000 yars of cultivation f avocados in America, a staple food, called the "poor man butter" by spaniards during the old times when they were there, and really someone can claim in australia to invent the spread of a rippen avocado into a piece of roasted bread, plus some onion, tomatoe (another american vegetable) etc...?

 

I am very happy to read about origin of products of recipes,specially inconclusive ones, like the black garlic, but any time i came across stuff like the avocado toast debate... i wonder If should stop reading about that kind of historical stuff.

 

nice thread, BTW.

 

cheers

Fer

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2 minutes ago, farcego said:

but to me, it is someting asian

 

I don't think there is any serious argument about that, but Asia is the world's largest continent and has 48 countries (as recognised by the UN).

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1 minute ago, liuzhou said:

 

I don't think there is any serious argument about that, but Asia is the world's largest continent and has 48 countries (as recognised by the UN).

But the current boundaries are very different after 100' or 1000's years of historical cultures.

 

Still, when it came to a natural process of ageing etc, for a staple product, it may been developed in different places in an independent way

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12. 酸藕 (suān ǒu); Pickled Lotus Root


Lotus root (莲藕 - lián ǒu) was clearly invented by the Chinese. I mean who else would come up with a vegetable specifically designed to be eaten by incompetent chopstick users?

 

1172230544_lotusroot4.thumb.jpg.9e65c3c10e090cbb21520a1b3d183cbc.jpg

 

It is a very popular vegetable, often used in soups and hot pots, but also Chinese salads and here as an example of what is known in Chinese as 下饭菜 (xià fàn cài), which doesn’t directly translate well, but means ‘food to help the rice go down’. It is a quick brined (usually two or three days) pickle and is used for many vegetables. All over town are small stalls or just handcarts with people selling this type of pickle - vegetables and fruit.

 

1261303625_pickleman.thumb.jpg.a86577ce1f8038736d6c83842b0c444c.jpg

 

People take it to snack-type restaurants and add it to whatever they buy there – usually rice noodles or congee. Or they just eat it as it comes.

 

I bought these below this morning from a man on a stall in the basement of a local shopping mall which has many small snack places. People were buying various things to eat with their noodles etc at the other stalls. The stick is supplied to spear the crisp vegetable should you just want to eat it on the hoof, as many  people do.

 

434544203_PickledLotusRoot.thumb.jpg.440d4c9e529014fa4186f5cc57aa30d0.jpg

 

Often, it is covered with a chili sauce and the man did offer, but I wanted you to see it clearly, so I went for the no-chili version.
 

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13. 酸辣海带丝 (suān là hǎi dài sī)  - Spicy Pickled Kelp Strips

 

2000419678_.thumb.jpg.4e0759da636b3883ceebd3dc8a12e725.jpg

 

Another quick  ‘food to help the rice go down’ (下饭菜 -xià fàn cài). This time seaweed. This is a commercial, factory processed product, made in Sichuan. Where they get the kelp from, I don't know - Sichuan is a landlocked province.

 

2009322785__20210708151946.thumb.jpg.fadc534b21e806787b2e49cbde42b876.jpg

 

Ingredients are, unusually, provided in a sort of English.

688451067__20210708152654.thumb.jpg.4dcb71f107d1cead2f750633d8bbcdcf.jpg

 

Note: Rap oil (sic) should be Rapeseed Oil; Chinese prickly ash is Sichuan peppercorns and the white wine is actually 白酒 (bái jiǔ), a strong spirit usually distilled from sorghum or maize.

Should you prefer to pickle your own without the added chemicals, just pop into the local market where the kelp is easily available in several forms. This one is simply pickled in vinegar.

 

1608035922_PickledKelp(1).thumb.jpg.e625a8f6869d629839a285a2975b8d66.jpg

 

Or if you prefer, you can buy it dried, either in sheets

 

20201208_103127.thumb.jpg.6bd7b92d3d5ce29e4bd6916e1d3e08f8.jpg

 

or cut into strips and tied in knots

 

20201208_103105.thumb.jpg.d69cee769c1278f06d535c74a20f7647.jpg

 

Finally, here is a homemade version made from home-cured fresh seaweed.

seaweed2.thumb.jpg.1bad0a6a535e1b0b171a9bdef048813c.jpg

a

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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14. 芽菜 (yá cài) – Sichuan Pickled Mustard Tops

 

In No 7 of my numbered posts above, I covered Zhacai, the Sichuanese root of a type of mustard plant. You didn’t think we were going to be ignoring the stems and leafy tops, did you? These are also salt cured, but in a more pungent manner. First they are dried, then salted and left to ferment with spices for months. Yibin city (宜宾市 - yí bīn shì) in south-eastern Sichuan is considered to produce the best.

 

1435873584_MustardGreensDrying.thumb.jpg.855acb6c3e67b9af23c93c3f865b51fa.jpg

Mustard tops drying in the sun

 

As ever, Fuchsia Dunlop's The Food of Sichuan (eG-friendly Amazon.com link) has a number of recipes for using the pickle.

 

yacai.thumb.jpg.25c80cc63222eae35a9dd57cdffc7404.jpg

Sichuan Yacai

 

A very similar pickle, made in almost the exact way from the same ingredients, is known as 雪菜 (xuě cài - literally 'snow vegetable'). They may look somewhat different, but taste the same.

 

xuecai2.thumb.jpg.1703d99af8e4a24a526ab5d1b7ddfb21.jpg

 

Warning: Outside Sichuan, in other parts of China and among much of the diaspora, 芽菜 (yá cài) is taken to mean ‘bean sprouts’; something Ms. Dunlop doesn't mention. It is safer to specify 四川芽菜 (sì chuān yá cài) for the pickle. If you have to specify bean sprouts, ask for 豆芽菜 (dòu yá cài) or just 豆芽 (dòu yá).

 

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It has to have been at least 40 years ago that I clipped some recipes for pickling some vegetables, Chinese style, from a magazine or newspaper.  It took a special kind of jar that you put water in the top. With the lid in place, the gas escaped from the vegetables by bubbling through the water on top and prevented air from getting in.  Being a potter, I made a couple instead of buying one.  Both the jars and recipes are gone by now but I recently made another one. Mine is much smaller than ones I have seen because I only want to make a small amount at a time.  At about the same time, my Korean wife asked me to make some kimchi jars because ones from Korea were not as easily attainable as they are now.  Soon I was making some for several of her friends too. Here are a couple pictures of the Chinese style pottery I made for myself not long ago. It's kind of rough looking but I was just trying to make something for quick use and not for show. 

20210708_055314.jpg

20210708_055325.jpg

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Just now, Norm Matthews said:

It has to have been at least 40 years ago that I clipped some recipes for pickling some vegetables, Chinese style, from a magazine or newspaper.  It took a special kind of jar that you put water in the top. With the lid in place, the gas escaped from the vegetables by bubbling through the water on top and prevented air from getting in.  Being a potter, I made a couple instead of buying one.  Both the jars and recipes are gone by now but I recently made another one. Mine is much smaller than ones I have seen because I only want to make a small amount at a time.  At about the same time, my Korean wife asked me to make some kimchi jars because ones from Korea were not as easily attainable as they are now.  Soon I was making some for several of her friends too. Here are a couple pictures of the Chinese style pottery I made for myself not long ago. It's kind of rough looking but I was just trying to make something for quick use and not for show. 

 

 

 

Thanks Norm. Good job. There is a discussion on these pickling jars going on now at this topic.

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15. 豆腐乳 (dòu fǔ rǔ) - Fermented Bean Curd (Tofu)


It is not just green vegetables that are pickled or fermented, of course. One popular condiment is 豆腐乳 (dòu fǔ rǔ), often shortened to 腐乳 (fǔ rǔ), or pickled tofu (Note: ‘tofu’ is from the Japanese name, ‘とうふ - tōfu ’, which they took from the Chinese, which is ‘doufu’.)

 

Cubes of tofu are first dried, then brined and fermented, along with various flavourings such as rice wine, vinegar and chilli. This is usually sold in glass jars. To be used as a condiment with such as rice, congee, etc., but can also be added to stir-fried dishes.

 

717672634_Furu-.thumb.jpg.2fcdd987c5362ed43a392e73e7729ebc.jpg

Spicy Fu Ru

 

Different brands of commercially produced furu vary in taste, but also in degrees of spiceness and texture. My preference is for this type, in which the tofu remains relatively firm.


Furu.thumb.jpg.7575c35fcf067ee1dfcb546951eb9feb.jpg

 

Others can be softer.


507504498_SoftFuru21024.thumb.jpg.f7b97413174fa84e0efe07769286bc52.jpg

 

Guilin, one of China's top tourist destinations (in better times), an hour north of here is renowned for its furu. About the only thing they sell in the small airport shopping area is presentation boxes of furu, sold for outrageous prices, of course. Find a small neighbourhood store and buy it there for a fraction of the airport price.

 

851672681_guilinfuru.thumb.jpg.652c52bd1528d84ed82604139a001be3.jpg

 

Note: The red colour in the image above is from chili oil. However there is a type of furu known as 红腐乳 (hóng fǔ rǔ), which is red from the addition of a red yeast, Monascus purpureus. Be suspicious of furu which is dayglo red - this has probably been dyed with red food colouring.

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16. 臭豆腐 (chòu dòu fu) – Stinky Tofu


Another fermented bean curd preparation is 臭豆腐 (chòu dòu fu) or stinky tofu. This comes in various versions, but all have one thing in common – they stink!

 

My favourite type is that which originated in Changsha, the capital of Hunan, the province to the north of Guangxi. Twenty-five years ago, I lived in a small Hunan city and behind the central market was a maze of streets. One of those streets was lined by hole-in-the-wall shops, all with low trestle tables and stools outside, selling stinky tofu and beer. I could always find the street in the maze – simply by following my nose. I could get their blindfolded.

 

1521812679_choudoufu4.thumb.jpg.dafa197243e871153eb17c99e4f82116.jpg

Changsha Stinky Tofu

 

Traditionally, stinky tofu uses firm tofu which is then dried and then fermented for months in a brine also containing amaranth leaves, pork, dried shrimp and various vegetables. The Changsha style also incorporates winter bamboo shoot, and shiitake mushrooms, as well as koji, Aspergillus oryzae, a fungus used to promote fermentation

 

During the fermentation process, the tofu develops a ‘hairy’ exterior, then begins to turn grey, at which time it is considered ready. Normally, the fermented tofu is then deep fried until black or dark brown and the outside is crisp. It is commonly served with a chili sauce. Hunan is chili central in China. In Hong Kong, it is eaten with hoisin sauce – preposterous idea, if you ask me!

 

Here I can buy it on the streets from itinerant vendors with their portable stoves and cunningly designed woks in which the fried tofu can sit in these cages around the rim to drain, but also to keep warm.

 

2039252304_chaodoufu.thumb.jpg.837ddfaa3b3bee72f8f01de3310d229e.jpg

Stinky tofu being deep fried in Hunan

 

1171893260_Choudoufu.thumb.jpg.d4a4b4e04f875b9c4c25de808086413c.jpg

Fried stinky tofu 'resting' in a cage at the rim of the wok.

 

Once you get past the smell, the taste is creamy and mild, contrasting with the chilli sauce. Sort of like a funky cheese.

Other, well-known varieties include Shaoxing stinky tofu. Shaoxing city in eastern China’s Zhejiang province is also, of course, famous for Shaoxing wine. Sichuan stinky tofu includes Sichuan peppercorns in the brine, while Tianjin in north China makes a milder, light-coloured version with less of the tell-tale smell.

 

I've even seen stores selling 5-year-old Shaoxing stinky tofu brine on China's online shopping sites.

 

O1CN017gVtv91kPeaiXtxIL_!!2067154676.jpg_400x400.jpg.f55120fe002a4e98326ec379a1e517c0.jpg

5-Year Old Shaoxing Stinky Tofu Brine

 

Taiwan is also known for its love of stinky tofu, which they cook in many ways, besides deep frying. I’ve never been there, so can’t comment on that too much.
 

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17. 裙带菜 (qún dài cài), Undaria pinnatifida – wakame


wakame.thumb.jpg.39cac995d1040ca62ae2497954e2e082.jpg

 

Another seaweed. Although wakame is often considered to be Japanese, only that name is. The name was adopted from Japanese into English in America sometime in the 1960s along with the briefly faddish macrobiotic movement. In fact, this seaweed is native to China, Korea, Eastern Russia and Japan. In China, it is 裙带菜 (qún dài cài). That said, it is often mislabelled 海草 (hǎi cǎo), meaning ‘seagrass’.

 

This preparation of what is actually a type of kelp is lightly pickled in rice vinegar with sugar, salt and sesame oil for a brief time (what Fuchsia Dunlop calls ‘taking a shower’ pickling) and is served as a side dish.  I particularly like it with sashimi or sushi.

 

384149399_salmonsushiandwakame.thumb.jpg.2e8e52b78d7d857ea863ec6499324c25.jpg

 

Before I’m told that sashimi and sushi are Japanese and not Chinese, may I point out the Chinese have been preparing and eating raw (and pickled) fish for millennia. Also, even the Japanese recognise that the concept of sushi was originally Chinese, although Japan did take over and develop it in their own way later.

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18. 八宝菜 (bā bǎo cài), literally ‘eight treasure vegetables’ – mixed pickles

 

八宝 (bā bǎo), eight treasures, is an ancient Chinese concept concerning symbols in Chinese art and on Chinese numismatic charms.

 

In more recent times, the term has become applied to various foodstuffs.

Remember this guy?

 

pickle man.jpg


If you can’t decide on which of his pickles you want, you are free to pick and mix from his selection. Most people do.

 

Alternatively, you can just buy this pre-mixed selection of pickled vegetables from the supermarket.

 

2052638601_.thumb.jpg.23a0410a1d456008a96fdb46e9a39730.jpg

 

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Posted (edited)

19. 海蜇 (hǎi zhé) Jellyfish, Rhopilema esculenta

 

jellyfish3.thumb.jpg.4dedcf6aade2570425d43f084aaef1a4.jpg


A popular snack or salad-like side dish, 海蜇 (hǎi zhé), literally ‘sea sting’, is sold in supermarkets and ‘mom ‘n pop’ stores. Normally, the fish is dried then, when rehydrated, lightly pickled in brine and rice vinegar for the briefest time. It remains slightly crunchy and delicately flavoured.

 

jellyfish.thumb.jpg.0da54f60bacea525849b9e5c78b4df4f.jpg

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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20. 泡菊芋 (pào jú yù) – Pickled Jerusalem Artichoke, Helianthus tuberosus

 

I rarely see Jerusalem artichokes in the markets or supermarkets. Much more often, they turn up like this. Pickled in vinegar and dressed in a chili sauce. Another snack food or to be added to your breakfast porridge (congee).

 

1503333951_JerusalemArtichoke.thumb.jpg.f3acd3be811472fc52ffd226c05b2a0a.jpg

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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21. 腊肉 (là ròu) preserved / cured meat or fish.


 

(là) means ‘cured’ or ‘preserved’ and (ròu) means ‘flesh’ or ‘meat’. Used without further clarification, (ròu) is always taken to mean ‘pork’’; other meats are given fuller names – 鸡头 (jī ròu), for example, is ‘chicken meat’. (là) is only used with meats; never vegetables.

 

 

I mentioned the top three examples of Chinese cured hams before, in this topic.

 

Most of the ham/bacon I can buy around here are home cured and from Hunan (Liuzhou borders Hunan province), which is famous for its la rou. Of course, meats can be cured in many ways: dried, dry-cured, wet-cured, smoked etc or in combinations of the above and Hunan uses them all.

 

Here are just a few examples.

 

1272281415_HunanLarou7.thumb.jpg.885577ff79f6ad67cbee76737de8ea50.jpg

 

1416965855_HunanLarou3.thumb.jpg.41d93d36c8e7dfa89e452ee99d888395.jpg

 

The above are dry cured and lightly smoked. The next two images are of brined  and heavily smoked bacon. They have a strong smell and very smokey taste which is typical of Hunan cuisine.

 

571403283_.thumb.jpg.294cf80118173c8efacf6459e70f1a59.jpg

 

1705135921_HunanLarou.thumb.jpg.bc2619693c65a02e0327c78970b10e47.jpg

 

Next we have 晒兰 (shài lán), a very localised specialty, only found in the small town of 沅陵 (yuán líng) in north-west Hunan. The town has large Miao and Tujia ethnic minority populations.

 

shailan.thumb.jpg.89ae06aee9791934e38dd99b59c623c0.jpg

Shai Lan (avocado for scale)

 

This is a lightly cured (dry-cure) ham, usually cooked with beans and copious amounts of chillies.

 

DSC05013.jpg.thumb.jpg.7774b2c74b11d4f7abc92d7e2faab0f3.jpg

 

Here is my take on it.

1975685140_BroccoliRomanescowithShaiLan(1).thumb.jpg.a7e4ff774a88a90c3fceb5b8f43520d8.jpg

Shai Lan  with Brocolli Romanesco

 

More locally, on my side of the border, is the Dong people's town of 三江 (sān jiāng). They also have hams and bacons, but also do a number of others.

 

1111263158_5.thumb.jpg.0cc60a9fb0e8acddca1907e64242cbc9.jpg

Sanjiang cured and smoked duck

 

Finally,  here is some Sichuan la rou.
 

1523637512_Sichuanbacon.thumb.jpg.44c80848b2f14ebab22d2c15f7d3f2b6.jpg

 

1655422278_smokedbacon.thumb.jpg.fdc91fc2981db51beb91e1574323771d.jpg

 

Winter is, of course, the main time for eating these hams and around October to December, the smell of hams being cured and/or smoked hangs in the air. So, I'll probably return to this come autumn.

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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22. 桔梗 (jié gěng), Pickled Chinese Bellflower (aka Balloon Flower) Root, Platycodon grandiflorus

 

1159801158_Balloonflowerrootkimchi.thumb.jpg.74bdb18bdbcc2f3580b9ca3a5cad1444.jpg

 

Some may know this better as 도라지 (doraji), the Korean name, but it is actually native to all of East Asia and also used as a pickle in China, although any self-respecting Korean will think of it as a type of kimchi ingredient.

 

Here in China, it is made and used in a similar way - as a side or condiment with other foods, especially rice.

However, it is probably more used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), particularly to treat coughs and related illnesses. 

 

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6 hours ago, liuzhou said:

21. 腊肉 (là ròu) preserved / cured meat or fish.


 

(là) means ‘cured’ or ‘preserved’ and (ròu) means ‘flesh’ or ‘meat’. Used without further clarification, (ròu) is always taken to mean ‘pork’’; other meats are given fuller names – 鸡头 (jī ròu), for example, is ‘chicken meat’. (là) is only used with meats; never vegetables.

 

 

I mentioned the top three examples of Chinese cured hams before, in this topic.

 

Most of the ham/bacon I can buy around here are home cured and from Hunan (Liuzhou borders Hunan province), which is famous for its la rou. Of course, meats can be cured in many ways: dried, dry-cured, wet-cured, smoked etc or in combinations of the above and Hunan uses them all.

 

Here are just a few examples.

 

1272281415_HunanLarou7.thumb.jpg.885577ff79f6ad67cbee76737de8ea50.jpg

 

1416965855_HunanLarou3.thumb.jpg.41d93d36c8e7dfa89e452ee99d888395.jpg

 

The above are dry cured and lightly smoked. The next two images are of brined  and heavily smoked bacon. They have a strong smell and very smokey taste which is typical of Hunan cuisine.

 

571403283_.thumb.jpg.294cf80118173c8efacf6459e70f1a59.jpg

 

1705135921_HunanLarou.thumb.jpg.bc2619693c65a02e0327c78970b10e47.jpg

 

Next we have 晒兰 (shài lán), a very localised specialty, only found in the small town of 沅陵 (yuán líng) in north-west Hunan. The town has large Miao and Tujia ethnic minority populations.

 

shailan.thumb.jpg.89ae06aee9791934e38dd99b59c623c0.jpg

Shai Lan (avocado for scale)

 

This is a lightly cured (dry-cure) ham, usually cooked with beans and copious amounts of chillies.

 

DSC05013.jpg.thumb.jpg.7774b2c74b11d4f7abc92d7e2faab0f3.jpg

 

Here is my take on it.

1975685140_BroccoliRomanescowithShaiLan(1).thumb.jpg.a7e4ff774a88a90c3fceb5b8f43520d8.jpg

Shai Lan  with Brocolli Romanesco

 

More locally, on my side of the border, is the Dong people's town of 三江 (sān jiāng). They also have hams and bacons, but also do a number of others.

 

1111263158_5.thumb.jpg.0cc60a9fb0e8acddca1907e64242cbc9.jpg

Sanjiang cured and smoked duck

 

Finally,  here is some Sichuan la rou.
 

1523637512_Sichuanbacon.thumb.jpg.44c80848b2f14ebab22d2c15f7d3f2b6.jpg

 

1655422278_smokedbacon.thumb.jpg.fdc91fc2981db51beb91e1574323771d.jpg

 

Winter is, of course, the main time for eating these hams and around October to December, the smell of hams being cured and/or smoked hangs in the air. So, I'll probably return to this come autumn.

 

First image is what I would call a superb cured top pork!!

If I had it here I would keep it secret from my friends!

cheers

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6 hours ago, liuzhou said:

22. 桔梗 (jié gěng), Pickled Chinese Bellflower (aka Balloon Flower) Root, Platycodon grandiflorus

 

1159801158_Balloonflowerrootkimchi.thumb.jpg.74bdb18bdbcc2f3580b9ca3a5cad1444.jpg

 

Some may know this better as 도라지 (doraji), the Korean name, but it is actually native to all of East Asia and also used as a pickle in China, although any self-respecting Korean will think of it as a type of kimchi ingredient.

 

Here in China, it is made and used in a similar way - as a side or condiment with other foods, especially rice.

However, it is probably more used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), particularly to treat coughs and related illnesses. 

 

Yes one of my favorite banchan. I've never seen it raw.  You've validated my pickle snacking. That guy you showed twice with the assortment of glass containers would be welcome to set up on my corner ;)

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22. 酸贡菜 (suān gòng cài) or 'Pickled Tribute Vegetable'

 

Another kimchi-like pickle is 酸贡菜 (suān gòng cài) or 'Pickled Tribute Vegetable', so-called as the then rare vegetable was presented to the Qing Dynasty Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799) as a tribute. It is closely related to the lettuce family.

 

175564124_TributeVegetableKimchi2.thumb.jpg.3248d4feeffb0d2aae89196dc4e6aa86.jpg

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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23. 海葡萄 (hǎi pú tao), Sea Grapes, Caulerpa lentillifera

 

1.thumb.jpg.7af075e970f2e7adf49cb2bf07607599.jpg

 

Also known as Green Caviar in English, this is a type of seaweed or algae. It was first cultivated in the 1950s in Cebu in the Philppines after it was accidentally introduced to fish ponds. By 1986, it had reached Japan, before being cultivated in Vietnam and China. This lot came from Beihai in southern Guangxi on the Tonkin Bay, by the border with Vietnam.

 

The seaweed is washed and then brined in a sea-strength solution. This is how I bought it.

 

16883274_SeaGrapesBag.thumb.jpg.f01e33497cd571323115a76aa3d4d44d.jpg

 

It is then drained and soaked in cold, fresh water for three minutes and it's ready to eat. At room temperature. I does not react well to either heat or cold.

 

It tastes of the sea, as you would expect, and has a delicate grassy flavour. But the most important quailty it has is the texture. It is crisp and the bubbles pop audibly in the mouth, like popping candy.

 

3.thumb.jpg.3c61fb23b8a7d57e5772a7df272ba0e5.jpg

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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