What´s it called?
Ya cai / 芽菜, suimi ya cai, preserved mustard greens from Sichuan, Sichuan pickled mustard cabbage.
What is it?
The pickled leaves of a mustard plant variety “guang gan qing cai”, only known/grown in Sichuan. The leaves, which are first rubbed with salt and sundried are layered in stoneware pots, together with sugar and maybe some chilli pepper and left to ferment for months. Ya cai is one of the basic tastes of Sichuan cuisine.
How to use it?
Ya cai is very difficult to find in the West, the most famous brand (Suimi) is sold in little, convenient bags . It’s probably best to rinse it under the tap to get rid of the excess salt. Then squeeze it to get rid of the water. You can shortly stir fry it in some oil to make it semi-crunchy and use as a garnish. You can also add it to the garlic and ginger when making a stir fry.
Tips, Tricks & Recipes
- Ya cai is used in some of the most famous Sichuan dishes like Dan Dan Noodles or stirfried green beans.
- Click to compare with other: Asian pickles