Zha Cai- The preserved vegetable

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Zha Cai (preserved greens ) usually is called Sichuan preserved mustard inexperienced and is a tiny and humble facet dish, generally packed in small luggage. However if you’re a returning reader, you could in finding I discussed it so much in my recipes. It has a historical past of loads of years and nonetheless helps to keep nice recognition as a result of its candy and savory taste and crunchy texture. Zha Cai will also be other in flavors.

Zha Cai|chinasichuanfood.com

What is Zha Cai

Zha Cai (榨菜), additionally romanized as Cha Tsai, is a kind of preserved mustard plant stem originating from the Wujiang River, Chongqing, China. In English, it’s repeatedly referred to as Sichuan preserved mustard inexperienced or Chinese language preserved vegetable. This can be a workforce title as a result of now we have a number of other flavors of Zha Cai. The commonest and common Zha Cai is produced from the stem Brassica juncea var. tumida which belongs to the crowd of mustard inexperienced. Following is an image of an entire head of preserved mustard head.

Zha Cai|chinasichuanfood.com
A complete head of Zha Cai

Zha Cai could have a variety of bureaucracy, complete head (to be had most effective in native markets), diced Zha Cai, shredded model, and even minced Zha Cai.

Zha Cai|chinasichuanfood.com
Zha cai chunks and minced zha cai

Concerning the processing

Essentially the most well-known emblem of Zha Cai is Wujiang Fuling. The mustard inexperienced head which is used to make Zha Cai is named “青菜头” in Chinese language and has a good looking and unbelievable church texture. From time to time we merely sun-dry it to make some other form of preserved vegetable. When I used to be a kid, we planted a variety of mustard inexperienced heads after which shredded them earlier than solar drying. The dried mustard inexperienced is tremendous nice for twice-cooked beef stomach or serving as a topping for noodles and rice.

Zha Cai isn’t totally dried just like the dried shreds I discussed. The water content material is principally got rid of by way of “urgent”. That is the that means of “榨” because of this “doing away with the water content material from greens”. At the beginning it’s rubbed with salt after which pressed to take away water content material. This procedure might be repeated three times so the easiest church texture will also be accomplished.

The place to shop for and Learn how to stay

Zha Cai now could be to be had in maximum Chinese language supermarkets or on-line shops like amazon. It’s generally packaged in small luggage so you’ll use it in a little while. Zha Cai itself is slightly salty so it’ll remaining for an extended time (round 2 weeks within the refrigerator) however it’ll dry out in no time. So if there are leftovers, at all times seal the package deal to stay it wet.

You’ll make a choice from a variety of flavors when buying. The preferred taste is the unique taste which is a candy and savory model, which will also be additional utilized in stir-frying and soups. However there also are scorching variations by which spice combine is already added. I really like to make use of the spiced model because the noodle topping, facet dish of porridge or steamed rice.

zha cai package|chinasichuanfood.com
the brand new package deal of probably the most well-known Zha Cai emblem

Learn how to use it

Zha Cai has a novel and powerful taste. So I really like to make use of it as a seasoning or added to different dishes for additonal taste, stir-frying, soups, noodles, and even salad. The commonest dish is the Zha Cai Rou Si, a highly regarded Sichuan home-style dish. You’ll use it additional used to serve with noodles, making Zha Cai Rou Si noodles.

You’ll devour Zha Cai immediately at the side of foods. Since this is a little bit salty, it generally serves with different undeniable staple meals like steamed rice, porridge, or noodles.

millet porridge |chinasichuanfood.com

Probably the most native Sichuan dishes additionally name Zha Cai as a topping together with Chongqing noodles and scorching and bitter noodles. I’m hoping to come up with some inspiration, when you’ve got any questions, be happy to go away me a remark.



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