Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Chinese Pickles and Preserves


liuzhou
 Share

Recommended Posts

4 minutes ago, Tropicalsenior said:

Thank you very much. This is much easier than what I have been doing. I'm going to have to go out and raid my Ginger patch.

 

Yes, there are recipes on that interweb thing which are ludicrously complicated. One recipe pushed by Goggle takes three days!

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

Yes, there are recipes on that interweb thing which are ludicrously complicated. One recipe pushed by Goggle takes three days!

Mine wasn't that complicated but I'm certainly glad to know that there is an easier way. But that will have to be a project for tomorrow. Today I think I am going to be able to perfect my candied garlic. I hope that the third time is the charm.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it permissible to ask about the vinegars that the Chinese use in their pickles and preserves? Or is this a topic that you have covered in another thread? I've fallen in love with this black vinegar that I mentioned above. It has such a deep Smoky flavor and I was wondering how it is made.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Tropicalsenior said:

Is it permissible to ask about the vinegars that the Chinese use in their pickles and preserves? Or is this a topic that you have covered in another thread? I've fallen in love with this black vinegar that I mentioned above. It has such a deep Smoky flavor and I was wondering how it is made.

 

Actually, black vinegar is seldom used in pickles. White rice vinegar is by far the usual choice.

I, too, love the flavour of the Zhengjiang vinegar and it's smokiness.

Most black vinegar is made from a glutinous black rice. It is usually used with braised meats and fish. My friend J's husband does a wonderful chicken dish with it, but is protective of his recipe. She is going to divorce him as soon as she gets it! 😂

But most commonly, it is used for dips with dumplings etc..

Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another short extract from a guide book relating to the local Miao ethnic minority cuisine. As before, the use of 'sour' is a mistranslation for 'pickled'. And the dried pepper' mentioned means 'chilli pepper'.
 

20171129_224625.thumb.jpg.3a094972ac72f4704f7e821016dbc339.jpg

  • Like 1

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, liuzhou said:

Another short extract from a guide book relating to the local Miao ethnic minority cuisine.

Just gotta love “purple perilla, etc. Thanks for sharing. 

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

I do love purple perilla

It was actually the “etc” that amused me! As though I would automatically know what else needed to be added. 

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Anna N said:

It was actually the “etc” that amused me! As though I would automatically know what else needed to be added. 

 

Ah!

 

That sort of thing is perfectly normal in Chinese language recipes.

"Add the usual and cook until cooked."

 

"Add the correct amount of garlic."

 

"Serve with appropriate."

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

36. 咸蛋 (xián dàn) – Salted Eggs

 

Another very common practice in China is to preserve eggs. I have mentioned before, at some length, so-called century eggs (皮蛋 - pí dàn) in the China Food Myths topic, but that is not the only way they are done. So here, I’ll avoid repetition and just post these couple of pictures.

 

507071234_MuddyPidan.thumb.jpg.2dd050ede1f758be9b66febdc567492e.jpg

皮蛋 - pí dàn
 

1403752714_.thumb.jpg.b6cf465c7de1c0893ec93ee4328bb530.jpg

皮蛋 - pí dàn served with pickled chiliesand garlic

咸蛋 (xián dàn) – salted eggs are just as common. Duck eggs are the most common, followed by quails eggs then chicken eggs.

 

There are at least three methods of producing these: brining them in a salt solution, or packing them in a salt and charcoal mixture, which is later washed off, or as I see around here more, just packing them in salt. They are left for around 3 to 4 weeks before being ready. Today most people buy them in supermarkets or markets. Although they are relatively easy to make at home, convenience takes over. Also, they are so cheap, why go to all the bother?

 

You have to be careful in Chinese stores when buying eggs. What look like ordinary fresh eggs are often anything but.

 

961010918_saltedduckegg2.thumb.jpg.d5f816affa53f2ec2d0b7499e692e843.jpg

Fresh or preserved? It's salted.

 

1597117441_saltedhensegg.thumb.jpg.14bcc83efc04ea8b7f599e7d37e8b67e.jpg

 咸鸡蛋 (xián jī dàn)- salted chicken egg

 

1796538251_saltedduckegg.thumb.jpg.1e12ca830b65499f2d9a4cfed854e73f.jpg

 咸鸭蛋 (xián yā dàn) salted duck egg

 

1028165401_SaltBakedQuailEggs.thumb.jpg.d1f46eae98c46490a0ba39fafe33214e.jpg

咸鹌鹑蛋 (xián ān chún dàn) - salted quail eggs in supermarket

 

The salted duck eggs are also individually shrink wrapped and sold as snacks.

 

1126196514_saltedduckeggs3.thumb.jpg.f7b28bfb0fb65cd37b919ecddf037559.jpg

Shrink wrapped salted duck egg.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 3

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anything wet can be dried or seems it seems round here. All sorts of things are dried. Vegetables, fruit, meat, flowers, fish.

Here are some.

 

1374731266_driedvegetables.thumb.jpg.f6f9d6e290c2c51de4ec98965e62c669.jpg

Dried mixed vegetables with a couple of fruits thrown into the mix. I'll let you play the identification game.

 

1103519566_DriedLemon.thumb.jpg.44bac3efc1a870401743ac51e694604d.jpg

Dried Lemon Slices

 

1343130010_preserveddriedwildonions.jpg.6a1ce9e05a5904db0355bbb2ab99c351.jpg

Dried Wild Onions

 

977587431_4.thumb.jpg.65d46435afa46ea24ad56dafa6af713e.jpg

For some reason this is called 'Ignorant Old Woman Duck'

 

  • Like 2
  • Haha 2

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

37. 橄榄/橄欖 (gǎn lǎn) – Chinese Olives


1213450018_GreenChineseolives.thumb.jpg.24652990e1e8256d1ceee0532329d2c7.jpg

Chinese Olives

 

The first thing to say about Chinese olives is that they aren’t olives at all. They are the fruit of Canarium album a tree native to S-E Asia, whereas true olives are the fruit of Olea europaea, a small tree native to Mediterranean Europe. In their untreated state, they do look similar, but that’s all. They have a strong, resinous flavour.

 

A common use is in the form of a paste known as 橄榄菜/ (gǎn lǎn cài) which means ‘olive vegetable’. The olives are mixed with green mustard leaf and cooked with soy sauce and salt, then bottled. The dark green paste is most popular in Cantonese speaking areas and especially in Hong Kong (the jar in the image below is labelled 香港橄榄菜/香港橄欖菜(xiāng gǎng gǎn lǎn cài), 香港 (xiāng gǎng) being the Mandarin for ‘Hong Kong’.

 

340917833_Olivepaste.thumb.jpg.a061005e5635fc8837b9aa98f22e539a.jpg

 

1266430003_.thumb.jpg.8f4ba40c247bcdca57ee45a0b7bbb7fd.jpg

Chinese Olive Vegetable

 

The paste though, originated in 潮州 (cháo zhōu) city in eastern Guangdong province with its own distinct cuisine and language, so is a subset of Cantonese cuisine.

 

The paste is used in stir fries and with egg fried rice.

 

The olives are also preserved by being candied. These are everywhere as snacks. These below are 甘草橄榄/甘草橄欖 (gān cǎo gǎn lǎn), which means ‘licorice olives’, the olives are preserved with licorice, salt, sugar and more chemical preservatives and sweeteners that I can be bothered to list! Industrial food.

 

698793285_.thumb.jpg.6f7ef17c73f2967a5e9bdfd3a46e91a6.jpg

甘草橄榄 (Licorice Olives)


Talking of which, the Chinese olives are also used in the manufacture of printing inks, soaps and varnish. They are also used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), but everything is.

 

Low quality European olives are also available here, usually Spanish and bottled; sometimes canned. They are known as 油橄榄/油橄欖 (yóu gǎn lǎn), meaning ‘oil olive’, which further confuses the issue as the Chinese ones are also sometimes pressed for their oil.

 

1357291906_PittedBlackOlives.thumb.jpg.702bd60f03b2d926d7782a5e5912fb97.jpg

 

Note: Where I've given two Chinese names, the first is the Simplified Chinese as used on the Chinese mainland, Malaysia and Singapore; second is the Traditional Chinese used in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan and among some of the Chinese diaspora. If I've only given one, that means they are the same.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, liuzhou said:

They are known as 油橄榄/油橄欖 (yóu gǎn lǎn), meaning ‘oil olive’,

The label on that is intriguing. Are they bottled in Spain for the Chinese market or are they imported in bulk and bottled in China. I find it interesting that it has a Spanish name and English lettering with the Chinese label.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember seeing olives on some of the dinners that you make. Which do you prefer, the Chinese or the European?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, Tropicalsenior said:

The label on that is intriguing. Are they bottled in Spain for the Chinese market or are they imported in bulk and bottled in China. I find it interesting that it has a Spanish name and English lettering with the Chinese label.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember seeing olives on some of the dinners that you make. Which do you prefer, the Chinese or the European?

 

Yes, bottled in Spain and imported.

 

As to preference, definitely the imported, even though they are far from the best.  I don't really like the Chinese ones, although I do use the 'olive vegetable' sometimes. 

  • Thanks 1

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, liuzhou said:

licorice olives

 

2 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

I don't really like the Chinese ones,

I can well imagine. These sound absolutely ghastly. Although I suppose that comparing the two types, Chinese and European, is like comparing apples and oranges.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, Tropicalsenior said:

 

I can well imagine. These sound absolutely ghastly. Although I suppose that comparing the two types, Chinese and European, is like comparing apples and oranges.

But those Spanish olives he showed looked pretty ghastly too. Like the ubiquitous Lindsay pitted black olives some kids enjoyed wearing on their fingers. Put me off olives for a long time until I tasted a variety of pit-in green ones from Middle Eastern markets. I'd try the Chinese ones at least once and the vegetable paste as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

One preservation method that is very seldom used here is commercial canning. This is the entire canned food section in the largest city centre supermarket.

 

canned.thumb.jpg.5927b3ec0fe62298b31866e9551b48a7.jpg

 

The botton three shelves are full of canned fish of various types - mackerel, mostly. Next shelf up, on the left, four cans of sardines in tomato sauce and above them some Spam-alike luncheon meat, or as I call it, dog food!

 

And that's it!

  • Like 2

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, liuzhou said:

And that's it!

Can you discuss why you think this is the case? Is freezing much of a commercial means of preserving food?  

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Anna N said:

Can you discuss why you think this is the case? Is freezing much of a commercial means of preserving food?  

 

I guess people just prefer fresh food.

Freezing is similarly, rare. Only really fish and sea food; some sliced meats for hot pots. Maybe some dumplings. I'll take some pics next time in the supermarket.

I can promise you 90% of freezer compartments in fridge-freezers are empty.

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

I guess people just prefer fresh food.

Certainly most of us prefer fresh food but in February in Ontario about the only things that grow are icicles. Our fresh food must travel many miles. So I suspect the answer is much more complex. 
 

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Anna N said:

Certainly most of us prefer fresh food but in February in Ontario about the only things that grow are icicles. Our fresh food must travel many miles. So I suspect the answer is much more complex. 
 

 

Well, I'm in the tropics and can only answer from there. But, as far as I remember, supermarkets in Beijing  and Jilin in the frozen north were the same.

Freezers in homes are relatively new here.

And people don't know how to use them.

 

Even much of the stuff in the supermarkets is hopelessly freezer-burned because they just throw in the fresh stuff they haven't sold that day! No wrapping. "Freezer-burn? Never heard"of it!"

I'll try to show you tomorrow. If the temperature drops below 40℃ / 104℉ for 15 minutes!

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

40 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

I guess people just prefer fresh food.

Plus they have the centuries-old traditions of drying, pickling, and preserving their food.

Then again, maybe it's because they tried it and they just don't like it. I can't say that I would blame them for that.

Frozen food has never become a tradition in Costa Rica for two reasons. One is the fact that most people have refrigerators with tiny freezers and the second is that many people have to travel a great distance to buy their food and by the time they got home, by bus or on foot, it would be mush.

Edited by Tropicalsenior (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...