Zha Cai – The Canned Vegetable

Zha Cai (canned greens) normally is known as Sichuan preserved mustard inexperienced and is a tiny and humble facet dish, often packed in small baggage. However if you happen to’re a return reader, you may discover that I discussed it so much in my recipes. It has a historical past of a whole lot of years and nonetheless retains nice recognition as a consequence of its candy and salty taste and crunchy texture. Zha Cai could also be totally different in flavors.

Zha Cai|chinasichuanfood.com
Zha Cai in numerous varieties

What’s Zha Cai

Zha Cai (榨菜), additionally romanized as Cha Tsai, is a kind of preserved mustard plant stem native to Wujiang River, Chongqing, China. In English it’s generally referred to as Sichuan Preserved Mustard Inexperienced or chinese language canned vegetable. It is a group title as a result of we now have a number of totally different flavors of Zha Cai. The commonest and in style Zha Cai is made out of the stem Brassica juncea var. tumida which belongs to the mustard inexperienced group. Right here is a photograph of an entire head of preserved mustard head.

Zha Cai|chinasichuanfood.com
An entire head of Zha Cai

Zha Cai can are available many varieties, complete head (solely out there in native markets), diced Zha Cai, grated model and even chopped Zha Cai.

Zha Cai|chinasichuanfood.com
Items of zha cai and minced zha cai

Concerning the therapy

Zha Cai’s most well-known model 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 wonderful church texture. Typically we simply dry it within the solar to make one other kind of canned vegetable. After I was a child, we planted numerous mustard inexperienced heads, then shredded them earlier than drying them within the solar. Solar-dried mustard is nice for twice-cooked pork stomach or as a topping for noodles and rice.

Zha Cai will not be utterly dried just like the dried shreds I discussed. The water content material is especially eliminated by “urgent”. That is the which means of “榨” which suggests “to take away water content material from greens”. First, it’s rubbed with salt after which pressed to take away water. This course of might be repeated 3 occasions with a view to obtain the proper church texture.

The place to purchase and maintain

Zha Cai is now out there in most Chinese language supermarkets or on-line shops like Amazon. It’s often packed in small baggage so as to use it in a short while. The Zha Cai itself is sort of salty so it is going to last more (about 2 weeks within the fridge) however it could dry out in a short time. So if there are any leftovers, all the time seal the package deal to maintain it moist.

You’ll be able to select from many flavors when buying. The most well-liked taste is the unique taste which is a candy and savory model, which can be utilized in stir fries and soups. However there are additionally sizzling variations wherein a combination of spices is already added. I like to make use of the spicy model as a noodle topping, accompaniment to porridge or steamed rice.

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

Easy methods to use it

Zha Cai has a novel and robust taste. So I like to make use of it as a seasoning or added to different dishes for additional taste, stir-fries, soups, noodles and even salad. The commonest dish is Zha Cai Rou Si, a very talked-about Sichuan residence dish. You may also use it to serve with noodles, making Zha Cai Rou Si noodles.

You’ll be able to eat Zha Cai straight with meals. Since it’s a bit salty, it’s often served with different staple meals similar to steamed rice, porridge or noodles.

millet porridge |chinasichuanfood.com
Zha Cai with pumpkin millet porridge

A number of the native Sichuan dishes additionally name Zha Cai as a filling, together with Chongqing noodles and candy and bitter noodles. I hope to present you some inspiration, when you’ve got any questions, don’t hesitate to go away me a remark.

#Zha #Cai #Canned #Vegetable

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