In Szechuan cuisine, pickled vegetables are hidden stars. They are not as famous as Kung pao chicken, twice cooked pork or Mapo tofu, but they are side ingredients for many yummy dishes like Szechuan boiled fish with pickled vegetables.
When I was still a child, my grandmother grew several different types of mustards including this mustard green (Chinese leaves mustard) and mustard with large stem. The former one was pickled directly and the later one was cut into shreds and sun dried before storing in the jars. Each time, when the fresh pickled vegetables were ready, the aroma filled the whole room and we were all expecting yummy dishes out of them.
- Salt as needed
- Boiled water as needed
- 1 airtight glass jar
- 4 trees of mustard greens
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn seeds (optional)
- Separate the mustard green or cut into large chunks and rinse in running water. Discard any dirt leaves.
- Lay the washed mustard greens in a clean gridiron or anything similar to dry the water. Turn over several times and make sure that there is no water on the surface. I would suggest air-drying for around 12 hours until the leaves begins to wither.
- Prepare the glass gar: wash the gar with boiling water and then set aside to drain.
- Transfer the withered mustard green in a large bowl. Rub the leaves with salt until they are totally withered and begin to lose water. Squeeze the water out. Then place the mustard green leaves in the glass jar. Press each layer down.
- Add around 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn seeds in the jar. Pour enough boiled water to soak all the leaves. Use weight to make sure the mustard greens do not float on the surface.
- Cover the jar completely, move to shady place and wait for 7 to 10 days until the water becomes bright yellowish green.
- Taste it to see whether it is ready. The well picked one should be salty and slightly sour.
It is really important to use oil-free and water free tool to take some of the pickled mustard greens out.