Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Asian pickled mustard greens(Chrouk Spey)

Usually when I'm craving something that I've never made before, I would resort to the internet, research numerous recipes online, and then attempt to recreate them my own way, at home. Let me tell you this much, I could NOT find a recipe on this stuff at all!! It seems like a pretty easy and breezy thing to figure out, but if you don't put the right amount of salt in the mustard greens with the right amount of water, it can definitely result in DISASTER. TRUST ME, I WOULD KNOW! :) It took about half a dozen different times for me to get this right!!

Growing up, we usually ate this as a side dish with baked fish and my parents would slice up some chili peppers,add some sugar,and dare I say it....?? MSG. There, I said it...and you know what??? It was DAMN GOOD TOO. So try this super dee duper, easy recipe, if you like all things sour... and no doubt, this one will surely tickle your pickle in all the right places!! :)

You will need:

2.5 pds of Chinese mustard greens(cleaned and cut into 2-3 inch pieces)

8 cps of water

3 T of salt

2 T of sugar

1 T of vinegar

A container big enough to pickle your mustard greens

A large pot to blanch the greens before pickeling them

Step 1: Bring to a quick rolling boil, 8 cups of water along with the salt and sugar. Stir, making sure that the salt and sugar have fully dissolved. Set this aside and allow to COOL COMPLETELY.

Step 2: Add water into another large pot and bring to a boil while you chop up your greens(this step is for blanching)

Step 3: Cut up the mustard greens into 2-3 inch pieces. Place them in large bowl and clean THOROUGHLY. Mustard greens can carry a lot of dirt so I usually chop them up, place them in water and let them sit for a little bit so that all the dirt can fall into the bottom of the large bowl. Repeat process.

Step 4: Once your pot has come to a boil, turn the heat off. Dump in all of the greens all at once and gently stir to make sure they are all immersed in the water. Remove and drain. They are ready to be removed when they look like this:

Step 5: When they have turned a bright green color, remove from heat and carefully drain under cold water,making sure that all the pieces get hit with some cold water to prevent further cooking.

Step 6:
Once the greens have cooled down completely, put them in some kind of container with a tight lid. Pour the cooled salt water mixture into the container. Add in 1 T of vinegar and then line the top with saran wrap before screwing the lid on. It should look like this:

Your pickled greens should be ready when they have turned a dark green color. The water will look slightly cloudy from the salt floating around in it(but that doesn't mean the greens itself will be overly salty). On warmer days, it will only take 1 to 2 days for it to turn sour. On cooler days, it can take anywhere from 3 to 5 days. This particular batch took about 4 days so I would definitely recommend that you put it somewhere out of sight, to keep you from taste checking it so frequently. Once it's sour to your liking, keep it tightly covered and refrigerated. You can eat as a side dish or even make a delicious chicken and mustard green soup using chicken stock as the base. Here's what it looks like fully pickled:


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