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pickled mustard


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ok, in every asian grocery i go to (mostly vietnamese, in my neighborhood) there are always these vacuum-sealed packages of pickled mustard. like tofu skins, green tea, chinese sausages and tofu, there are always big boxes of these.

so i bought some, and i'm not sure what to do with it, in part because i don't know what it tastes like. also, today in the store i saw another package of it that said in big letters THIS PRODUCT MUST BE COOKED BEFORE EATING. but this package doesn't say that. and the recipes i've found all over the web don't say that. i know i have to rinse and/or soak it to get some of the salt off, but that's about it.

anyway, what do i do with it? what does it taste like?

thanks for any help.

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ok, in every asian grocery i go to (mostly vietnamese, in my neighborhood) there are always these vacuum-sealed packages of pickled mustard.  like tofu skins,

.....

anyway, what do i do with it?  what does it taste like?

In Cantonese cooking, one way to use pickled mustard is to make a steamed dish. Buy some beef, slice them up, then marinate them with sesame oil, soy sauce, ground white pepper, a bit of sugar, some corn starch. Mix them with the beef. Then mix in the pickled mustard (cut in thin slices). Steam this dish for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Depends of the product makes, if the pickled mustard is too salty, you may soak it in water for an hour or 2 before using.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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excellent, thanks hzrt8w.

You are welcome. I forgot to mention...

It is customary to use slivers of fresh ginger (better yet to chop it in fine shreds) in Cantonese steam dish. Just mix it with the beef/pickled-mustards before steaming. Also, take one green onion (scallion) and finely chop it. When the dish is ready, just sprinkle the fresh green onion on top as a garnish (as well as adding a bit of taste to it).

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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excellent, thanks hzrt8w.

You are welcome. I forgot to mention...

It is customary to use slivers of fresh ginger (better yet to chop it in fine shreds) in Cantonese steam dish. Just mix it with the beef/pickled-mustards before steaming. Also, take one green onion (scallion) and finely chop it. When the dish is ready, just sprinkle the fresh green onion on top as a garnish (as well as adding a bit of taste to it).

hzrt8w, do you have any suggestions for fresh mustard greens? My local Vietnamese grocer stocks gai choi, but I've not gone there as I read that they're very bitter and used mainly in soups (though I do like soup!).

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hzrt8w, do you have any suggestions for fresh mustard greens? My local Vietnamese grocer stocks gai choi, but I've not gone there as I read that they're very bitter and used mainly in soups (though I do like soup!).

Gai choi (mustard greens) indeed is very good for soups. In Cantonese cooking, Gai choi is commonly cooked with firm tofu in soups. A simple recipe: get 0.5 to 3/4 lb of beef. Slice it. Marinate it with sesame oil, ground white pepper, soy sauce, cooking wine, corn starch. Boil one pot of water. Throw in 1 lb of mustard greens, 1/2 to 1 box of firm tofu. Bring to a boil. Put in the marinated beef. Finished. (You can turn off the heat once putting in the beef, or else it will overcooked.)

As an alternative, you may also use fish balls, shrimp balls, beef balls to substitute for or to add to the beef to make this soup.

You may also sautee mustard greens as a vegetable dish.

Use a little bit of oil, medium-high heat, put in some small dried shrimps, and 2-3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped), a bit of salt. Cook for 1 minute or so til fragrant. Put in mustard greens (cut at about 2 inch in length). Cook with lid on until mustard greens turns soft.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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With guy choi, I like to make soup with sliced pork. Marinate the thinly sliced pork with just salt, oil and a little pinch of cornstarch. I use pork neck bones to make the stock. Bring the stock to a boil, add the guy choi stalks first, then the leaf portion. I always put acouple of slices of ginger in for this soup. Can't remember my mom's description of why (taste related), but the ginger does make a difference. I put the pork in at the last few minutes. This makes a light soup with a slight bitter cooling taste.

If you think the soup may be too bitter for your taste, you can always blanch the guy choi first before adding to the stock.

I find the bigger the mustard plant, the more flavourful the soup. The young plants I like for stir-fry.

After Chinese New Year celebrations, I cook a sweet dish with guy choi and "chang tay", a sweet ballon-shaped deep-fried dumpling made with glutinour rice flour.

Edited by Dejah (log)

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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With mustard greens, if you want to try another one, buy some SALTED mustard in packages on your Asian grocery shelves.

With this one, you must soak it until it is soft, then rinse it acouple times to make sure there is no sand/dirt hidden in the leaves. (Not great on the teeth!)

Cut it into fine shreds and mix it with either seasoned ground beef or pork, OR slices of same. I love adding fresh mint and hot Thai peppers on top of this! The first time I tasted it made this way was in northern England.

This dish is also steamed. I usually add add acouple tbsp. of water to the meat mixture and keep it lose...don't pat it down to make it look "neat"!

The pickled mustard green is called JA Choi, the salted version is called MUI Choi,

the fresh mustard greens is called GUY Choi.

You can also buy salted turnip, which is called HAM CHOI. This you can rinse off, fine juliennes with ginger, and steam as above . . . AHHHHH COMFORT FOOD! :wub:

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Dejah: the reason why ginger is put into a soup with gai choi, watercress as a main ingredient is to balance the extreme cooling effects of the green veggies.

Very humbly submit my names for the salted and preserved veggies that you mentioned:

Ja choy is the knobby salted green root veggie normally associated with Szechuan. It is generally found in cans and covered with chili powder.

Mui choy is the sallted and semi-fermented leafy greens of bok/gai choi(?) Almost black in appearance and very soft to the touch and teeth.

Ung or tung choy (literal translation is eastern vege.) is the salted large roots of a brassica relative of bok choy. Generally found in clear plastic packages in thick slices, brown in colour with salt seen on the surface. I my experience, this is not called "ham choi".

Now, if you can help me out with my memory, please ask your mother what the salted and preserved garlic leaves are called. They normall come in a clear plastic bag, chopped up, golden brown in colour and are devastatingly tasty when steamed with belly pork. :rolleyes::wub:

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Humbly? :laugh::laugh: I would never "hit" my elder! :wink:

You are right about Ja choi, It IS knobby and preserved with chili. Sometimes, people slice it for hot 'n'sour soup.

Ung choi, I believe, is quite garlicky. Maybe this is the salted garlic leaves you are thinking of?

Ham choi, or in Toisanese, hi toy is salted root veg, I think turnip. I always put it in my lotus root soup. The turnip is in packages, usually sliced length wise but still connected by the tops. I also julienne this and steam with beef or pork.

The ginger may well be as the counterbalance to the cooling effect, but Mom said if you don't put the ginger in, the soup will have a funny taste...sang?

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Well we're a gai choi family now! I cooked your braising recipe, hzrt8w, but after what Dejah and Ben were saying I threw some ginger slices in first to flavour the oil and then finished off with a splash of rice wine and light soy (my six year-old likes sauce :wub: ). And the gai choi isn't bitter at all! Raw, it's mustardy, but not when cooked... I think I was expecting something like bitter gourd (which I like, but not the rest of the family. Not YET anyway :laugh: )

I'm going to try the soup another time - now does anyone know a quick way to make delicious stock? Or is that sacrilegious talk?

Thanks again everyone - I have another vegetable to play with!

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Gai choi has such a distinctive taste, you don't really need to make complicated stocks.

I just start my soup with the cut up guy choi and ginger. When the vegetables are tender, I add my seasoned and marinated pork or chicken slices. A touch of salt and MSG and you're set!

If you think you really "need" stock, try Knor's or Campbell's chicken broth, or their canned Chinese chicken stock. That's what I resort to when I am in a hurry.

My s-i-l must have been looking over my shoulder. She was in Winnipeg...capital city of my province, and brough back a big plant of gai choi, 2 fuzzy melons and a package of lotus root!

Those will wait until the weekend. I am preparing Sechuan sesame chicken for my Ethiopian and El Salvadorian adult ESL students tonight...for our Xmas potluck supper. Don't think they're ready for guy choi yet!

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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There's no fast way to make good stock, and it's not at all difficult.

Chinese meat stock:

3 lbs. of chicken necks & giblets, pork riblets, bones, or any combination of bits and boney scraps of either animal. The majority of the scaps and bones should be raw. Rinse well and put it all in a stock pot, cover with cold water and boil for 3 minutes. Drain, discard the water, rinse bones and scraps again. Cover with cold water to half again as deep as the bones are; throw in a couple of green onions, a thumb sized piece of ginger (smashed), bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and simmer for 3 hours, adding more water as needed. When done and cooled, strain into clean containers and freeze what you don't use right away. Presto.

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The pickled mustard green is called  JA Choi, the salted version is called MUI Choi,

the fresh mustard greens is called GUY Choi.

You can also buy salted turnip, which is called HAM CHOI. This you can rinse off,  fine juliennes with ginger, and steam as above .

Dejah:

I don't think Ja Choi is pickled mustard green. Their textures are very different. I think Ja Choi is some other vegetables. Something that is more like Daikon with big roots. Ja Choi is the root, mostly.

Salted turnip (or Daikon) is called Choi Po in Cantonese. Perhaps in Toisanese dialect it is called Ham Choi? My wife doesn't know. Perhaps my MIL would.

Is Mui Choi made from mustard green? I thought it is from Bok Choi.

All these talks about preserved Chinese vegetables... perhaps we should do that in the China forum.... :smile:

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Mui choy is the sallted and semi-fermented leafy greens of bok/gai choi(?) Almost black in appearance and very soft to the touch and teeth.

Yeah... except that these things are usually full of loose sands. If you are not careful and take a big bite on the ones with sands, it would ruin your teeth! :biggrin:

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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..... And the gai choi isn't bitter at all! Raw, it's mustardy, but not when cooked... I think I was expecting something like bitter gourd (which I like, but not the rest of the family. Not YET anyway  :laugh: )

You know, Piers, most Chinese greens are not good material for American style salads! :laugh::laugh::laugh: LOL That's why Chinese don't eat raw vegetables except for lettuce.

And the Chinese name for lettuce is Sung Choi [Cantonese] and it literally means "Raw Vegetable"! :laugh: LOL

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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There's no fast way to make good stock, and it's not at all difficult.

Chinese meat stock:

3 lbs. of chicken necks & giblets, pork riblets, bones, or any combination of bits and boney scraps of either animal. The majority of the scaps and bones should be raw. Rinse well and put it all in a stock pot, cover with cold water and boil for 3 minutes. Drain, discard the water, rinse bones and scraps again. Cover with cold water to half again as deep as the bones are; throw in a couple of green onions, a thumb sized piece of ginger (smashed), bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and simmer for 3 hours, adding more water as needed. When done and cooled, strain into clean containers and freeze what you don't use right away. Presto.

Thanks Ben. Good job there's a vacation coming :laugh:

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With mustard greens, if you want to try another one, buy some SALTED mustard in packages on your Asian grocery shelves.

With this one, you must soak it until it is soft, then rinse it acouple times to make sure there is no sand/dirt hidden in the leaves. (Not great on the teeth!)

Cut it into fine shreds and mix it with either seasoned ground beef or pork, OR slices of same. I love adding fresh mint and hot Thai peppers on top of this!  The first time I tasted it made this way was in northern England.

This dish is also steamed. I usually add add acouple tbsp. of water to the meat mixture and keep it lose...don't pat it down to make it look "neat"!

The pickled mustard green is called  JA Choi, the salted version is called MUI Choi,

the fresh mustard greens is called GUY Choi.

You can also buy salted turnip, which is called HAM CHOI. This you can rinse off,  fine juliennes with ginger, and steam as above . . . AHHHHH  COMFORT FOOD! :wub:

Dejah

You were in Northern England? Where? I lived in Yorkshire for eight years - one of my favourite places. If you're ever in London (where I live now) let me know - we could share some chicken's feet :biggrin:

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hrzt wrote:

"Dejah:

I don't think Ja Choi is pickled mustard green. Their textures are very different. I think Ja Choi is some other vegetables. Something that is more like Daikon with big roots. Ja Choi is the root, mostly."

Uh huh, Elder Brother Ben Hong has corrected Mui Mui on that already. :wink:

"Salted turnip (or Daikon) is called Choi Po in Cantonese. Perhaps in Toisanese dialect it is called Ham Choi? My wife doesn't know. Perhaps my MIL would."

Ham choi is made with daikon/turnip, thus the Toisanese name Hai Toy (Head veg).

My s-i-l who speaks Cantonese calls it Ham choi...meaning salted veg, but maybe the name varies with villages?

"Is Mui Choi made from mustard green? I thought it is from Bok Choi."

I just checked my new package and it said Salted Mustard. Thinking about the shape of the stalk, I tend to think it IS mustard greens. It always has sand , so I make sure I soak it well and rinse a couple times before I cut it up.

"All these talks about preserved Chinese vegetables... perhaps we should do that in the China forum...."

Hey! The forum is Elsewhere in Asia.... Is China not in Asia now? :blink::laugh::laugh:

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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With mustard greens, if you want to try

Dejah

You were in Northern England? Where? I lived in Yorkshire for eight years - one of my favourite places. If you're ever in London (where I live now) let me know - we could share some chicken's feet :biggrin:

Chicken feet... with black bean garlic and chili peppers? You are on! Pier!

We toured workingmen and social clubs in Yorkshire area, County Cleveland, as a band in 1976, 77 and 79. We loved it! :wub:

Shaftsbury Street, Gerrard Street in Soho had good cheap Chinese food in those days. How about now?

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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With mustard greens, if you want to try

Dejah

You were in Northern England? Where? I lived in Yorkshire for eight years - one of my favourite places. If you're ever in London (where I live now) let me know - we could share some chicken's feet :biggrin:

Chicken feet... with black bean garlic and chili peppers? You are on! Pier!

We toured workingmen and social clubs in Yorkshire area, County Cleveland, as a band in 1976, 77 and 79. We loved it! :wub:

Shaftsbury Street, Gerrard Street in Soho had good cheap Chinese food in those days. How about now?

Funnily enough, the three of us have just come back from there...duck and rice at Wong Kei's on Wardour Street (just opposite Gerrard) and my son scarfed most of the choi sum... :angry: His mum wanted to kick off the start of our holiday with a treat! :smile:

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