Vietnamese picked mustard green

8-year-old: I don’t want to be like Napoleon Bonaparte.
Me: Why?
8-year-old: He has THREE sisters! Imagine!!
Me: ???

(I hope his two sisters didn’t hear it.)

Vietnamese picked mustard green

(Adapted from Vanh Khuyen Le)

2 large heads of Asian mustard greens
3 shallots (peeled, thickly sliced)
5-6 garlic cloves (peeled)
2 chilis (optional, sliced)
75 g palm sugar (can be replaced by light brown sugar)
50 g kosher salt
2 1/4 liters water

To prepare the mustard greens:

  1. Preheat the oven to 210F.
  2. Remove some of the leaves and use them for other purposes.
    • Note: You want to have more stems than leaves for the crunchy pickle.
  3. Separate the whole leaves from the head.
  4. Rinse under running water.
  5. Place the leaves in one layer on a baking tray.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes or until the leaves wither slightly.
  7. Cut into bite sizes. Set aside.

To prepare the pickled vegetables:

  1. In a large stockpot, boil 2 1/4 liter of water + 75 g palm sugar + 50 g salt.
  2. Pour about 1 cup of the boiling water onto a large dry clean jar to further sanitize it.
  3. Pour the water back to the stockpot and re-boil.
  4. Put mustard greens + sliced shallots + garlic cloves + chilis (if using) in the cleaned jar.
  5. Again, pour 1 cup of the boiling water over the vegetables.
  6. Return the water back to the stockpot and re-boil for a minute or two.
  7. Let the water cool down to about 100 F.
  8. Pour the water over the vegetables.
  9. Put a small plate on top to submerge the vegetables under the water.
  10. Cover and set aside.
  11. The pickled vegetables should be ready in about 3 days.