Recipe: Pickled Mustard Greens - Dưa Cải Chua

By Helen Le Published: November 26, 2017

  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Ready In: 72 hrs 30 mins

  • Yield: 8-10 Servings

This simple pickle will help you digest all the heavy food you’ll consume during these upcoming festive days. Picked mustard greens (dua cai chua) with its lovely crunchiness and tartness is perfect to pair with almost any rich and savory dishes. There are so many things you can do with it: You can stew with fish, pork, stir-fry with eggs, make soup or curry with it or simply serve it plain next to any salty home-cooked dishes like caramelized pork, fish or shrimps or simply a bowl of fish sauce.

  • Cut off ends of the mustard greens and discard. Trim the parts that are bruised, yellow or eaten by bugs. Cut into 2-inch lengths and rinse well a few times to get rid of all the dirt.
  • Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil in a medium saucepan. Turn off heat and wait for all the bubbles to stop. Add the mustard greens making sure they are submerged in the water. You can use a small plate to place on top to weigh it down. Just make sure that the plate does not cover the pot completely as we need the steam to escape. Leave it for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Wash the jar thoroughly with soap and water and sterilize with hot water. Well, it is very important to void any type of contamination. Make sure utensils and pots are clean including the pickling jar. Any unwanted oil or grease will cause the greens to not pickle properly. Glass jar is ideal for pickling. Thinly slice the shallot (you can also use onion) and chop up the scallions.
  • To make the brine, bring a saucepan of water (1.5 liters or 6 cups) to a boil. Add salt and sugar. Stir to dissolve and leave to cool completely.
  • After soaking overnight, the mustard greens change the color to light yellow and release the strong mustard smell. Drain and squeeze off the excess water. Combine with the shallot and scallions and put in the jar. Pour in the brine into the jar covering the mustard greens.
  • After 3 days, use clean chopstick to take out a piece and have a taste. If it is nice sour and tart, it is ready to serve. It will get more sour the following days. To slow down the pickling process, keep it in the fridge. To stop the pickling process, drain the liquid and refrigerate the mustard greens. Once refrigerated, enjoy the greens within the month.