A useful store cupboard ingredient to have on hand for Chinese-style stir fries
800g pak choi
150g table salt for drawing out the moisture
For the pickling liquid:
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
500ml cooled boiled water
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns (optional)
1 x 1-2 litre airtight glass jar
Wash the pak choi under cold running water, ensuring all the grit and any dirt in between the leaves is washed through. Slice the greens lengthways, then into quarters and place in a large mixing bowl. Add 100g table salt and 4 tbsp of water to the mixing bowl and rub well into the leaves. Leave the mixing bowl at room temperature overnight to allow the salt to bring out the moisture from the leaves.
The next morning, sterilise the airtight jar by either placing through a full dishwasher cycle or boiling in hot water for 10 mins.
The mustard greens will have wilted overnight from the salt rub. Rinse the greens well under cold running water to remove any excess salt and squeeze out the excess water through your hands. Lay the greens tightly on top of each other in the jar.
Mix 1 tbsp sugar with 1 tsp salt and 500ml cooled boiled water from a kettle—along with the Sichuan peppercorns if you are using them—and pour over the greens into the jar. Place a small bowl or similar object inside the jar to weigh the pak choi down into the pickling liquid. Seal the jar tightly and place in a cool dry place for 7 days.
After a few days, you should see the pickled greens become more yellow in colour. Once you see the colour change, they should then be ready to eat—take care when picking out any vegetables and use a clean dry implement to do so, to keep the pickling liquid clean.
Once you’ve opened the sealed jar back up, store any remaining pickled leaves in the fridge.
Recipe: Jeremy Pang
Image: John Holdship