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  1. MMMMM-- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.03

  2. Title: Szechuan Style Cabbage Relish

  3. Categories: Relishes, Vegetables, Appetizers, Vegan, Chinese

  4. Yield: 1 servings

  5. 1 md Green cabbage


  7. 8 c Water

  8. 2 tb Szechuan peppercorns

  9. 3 tb Salt

  10. 2 tb -Strong spirits, or up to:

  11. 3 tb Strong spirits

  12. -- (gin, tequilla, or -- kaoliang wine)

  13. 1 c Icicle radish, julienned

  14. -- (Optional)

  15. 1/2 c Carrot, julienned

  16. 2 sl -Gingerroot, or up to:

  17. 5 sl Gingerroot

  18. 1 sm -Fresh Chile, or up to:

  19. 3 sm Fresh Chiles

  20. This relish is certainly the most ubiquitous and popular in all China.

  21. There is even a special earthenware pickling jar for it. Encircling

  22. the mouth of the jar is a shallow, water-filled trough, into which

  23. the lid fits like an upturned bowl, affording an airtigh seal. Many

  24. a restaurant, no matter how small, keeps an ongoing batch in the

  25. works. It is especially favored as an appetizer or as an

  26. accompaniment to such specialties as boiled pot-stickers or noodles.

  27. Szechuan is a Western province of China where red pepper frequently

  28. enlivens the food. The traditional hot, spicy flavor of this relish

  29. varies with individual taste; use as much or as little gingerroot

  30. and/or hot peppers as you like to do the job. Chiles can be chopped

  31. for a really hot effect; or for mere warmth, leave them whole with a

  32. slit down one side. If you omit the chiles and gingerroot

  33. altogether, the resuld will be a pleasant pickle flavor with the

  34. natural sweetness of the crisp vegetables in the forefront.

  35. Green cabbage (not Chinese cabbage) is the principle ingredient, but

  36. other vegetables may be added for color (carrot) and variety (icicle

  37. radish). One batch requires several days' steeping. The brine should

  38. be reused, for each time the vegetables contribute their flavor, and it gets better and better.


  40. Discard limp outer leaves of cabbage. It is not necessary to separate

  41. leaves individually. Break the head into fairly large yet bite-sized

  42. pieces. Pat dry and let excess moisture evaporate.

  43. To make marinade: Brin to a boil the water, peppercorns, and salt.

  44. Strain out the peppercorns as you pour the liquid into a plastic

  45. container (with air-tight lid), ceramic bowl, or crock. Let cool to

  46. room temperature.

  47. When the brine has cooled, add the alcohol, then cabbage and additional vegetables. Weigh these down with a clean, heavy ceramic

  48. object (I simply use a plate) or stone so that they remain submerged

  49. in the brine. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or air-tight lid.

  50. Store in the refrigerator for at least three days before uncovering.

  51. The first one or two batches may seem a bit salty and raw-tasting;

  52. after that a mellow, richly mature character develops. It can store

  53. indefinitely if kept cold, airtight, and clean. Always use clean,

  54. dry utensils when removing the vegetables. You can remove as much as

  55. you want at a time and add new vegetables before the previous batch

  56. is used up.

  57. To replenish the brine after several batches, add a little alcohol

  58. 1/2 teaspoon salt boiled with

  59. 1/2 cup water

  60. The original marinade can be reboiled with additional water and salt,

  61. but this results in some flavor loss.

  62. Variation: Shred the marinated cabbage or chop it coarsely, to yield

  63. 5 cups, loosely packed. Toss with

  64. 1 tablespoon soy sauce,

  65. 2-1/2 teaspoons sugar,

  66. 1 tablespoon vinegar (cider or Chinese dark),

  67. and 1-1/2 teaspoons sesame oil. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

  68. Source: The Fragrant Vegetable, by Martin Stidham

  69. Typos by: Karen Mintzias

  70. MMMMM


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