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Chinese fettucini?

Anyway, the Sichuan preserved veg is best purchased from a pot rather than from a can. It is excellent for many recipes, from eating it raw in slices with porridge to boiling soup.


Incidentally it is one of the poor man's favorite veg. I remember eating this regularly with porridge when I was young and my family was poor. The other common menu item was preserved bean curd cubes which comes in bottles these days.


It's yummy steamed with slices fattish pork... but then again what doesn't taste good with fat pork ;)


Bayi -- Maybe Chinese al'amatriciana, without the pork (come to think of it though, a little bacon would be a nice addition!).

Shiewie -- so try. Everything tastes better with fat pork!


Hey! this is one of those food that is difficult to find nowadays. Even the rich are looking for a simple home cooked meal.


now i got inspiration on what to do with a pack of that sichuan preserved vege that i have


You could actually stir fry the pickle, ginger, pork... all cut into thin strips, in hot oil (lots of it). The only other condiment you'd need is only a pinch of salt, because the ginger/pickle's flavor just soaks into the meat. Garnish with spring onions.


Transparent Reality

Oh yum, I love Sichuan preserved vegetable. It sounds so generic, doesn't it?

I usually stir fry it with pig tongue. I love its spicy taste especially when coupled with pork.


I would like to make the pickled cabbage at home. Do you know of a recipe. I would like to make the fermented type, not just the salt pack style.


Hi Allen -- sorry, I don't have a recipe. Also, this is not cabbage but a vegetable that I have not seen outside of Sichuan, the base/root of a variety of mustard.


My Mom used to buy these in the 1970's and whip up amazing dishes with the preserved 'pickle' vegetable. I don't know what prompted a white suburban housewife to go for something like this, but I am glad she did. She did an amazing stir fry of 'vegetable' cut into julienne strips and stir fried with pork tenderloin slices- heaven!
I'm going to try the noodles, they look divine.


Hi Piper -- That's a classic Sichuan preparation. Maybe your mom got a hold of some Time Life cookbooks? My (also white suburban) mom used to put some surprising things on the table in the '70s and that's where most of those dishes came from, I think.
Enjoy, and thanks for reminding me of these noodles. It's been too long.

Ann Brown

Hello - I found your site because I'm looking for a source for zha cai. I used to find it (often in a barrel like pickles) or in a can in NYC's chinatown. But I now live in very rural upstate NY and have to order online for anything more exotic than a can of corn. Do you know of any mail order chinese stores that might carry it. I long for twice cooked pork with strips of preserved vegetable laid on top. -Annie


Hi Annie -- I found it on Amazon, of all places, sold by an Asian market. But there's only 2 left, so hurry!

After more googling I came up empty -- somewhat surprising. My best advice is that if you ever get within distance of an Asian grocery store, buy many cans. The pickle keeps forever out of the can and in the fridge.

Good luck!

Ann Brown

Many thanks-I bought them out.



Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator

Love this story. You are a great writer! Just went hunting for this stuff for a recipe from Herbivoracious.


Thank you Stephanie, that's lovely of you to say. Enjoy!


My mom used to cook with this mysterious vegetable when I was a kid...reading this just made all my taste buds remember how delicious it was. Thanks for the wonderful story!

Stephanie Cook

Totally LOVE this article of yours! I am from the U.S. and currently living in Shanghai, China. I swear this preserved vegetable is what is chopped and put on the "FINEST" Jian Bing, made on the streets here, that I have EVER TASTED!! Would love to have the recipe for the batter that is used to make this large, very thin pancake-like breakfast rolled up and filled also with chopped cilantro, chinese green chives, an egg or two smoothed out in it and hot garlic paste. They smear a bit of brown and a bit sweet (thinking a hoisin sauce) of sorts on it. Tuck in it a "crispy wafer" and roll it up and chop in half!! IT iS EXCELLENT!!! Do you happen to know the different flours used in making the batter. It is a thick paste like batter that needs to be smoothed around as it does not pour out when being ladled onto the hot grill. No oil is used to grease the grill which makes this even healthier to eat. Hope you know something about this as I cannot find the recipe anywhere!!!

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