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Appetizer - Snack Recipe.

From our collection of over 10000 free recipes to help you with your diet.


1 medium Green cabbage
8 cups Water
2 tablespoons Szechuan peppercorns
3 tablespoons Salt
2 tablespoons -Strong spirits -- or up to:
3 tablespoons Strong spirits -- - (gin, tequilla, or
kaoliang wine)
1 cup Icicle radish -- julienned
1/2 cup Carrot -- julienned (optional)
2 slices -Gingerroot -- or up to:
5 slices Gingerroot
1 small -Fresh Chile -- or up to:
3 small Fresh Chiles (optional)
This relish is certainly the most ubiquitous and popular in all China.
There is even a special earthenware pickling jar for it. Encircling the mouth of the jar is a shallow, water-filled trough, into which the lid fits like an upturned bowl, affording an airtight seal. Many a restaurant, no matter how small, keeps an ongoing batch in the works. It is especially favored as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to such specialties as boiled pot-stickers or noodles.
Szechuan is a Western province of China where red pepper frequently
enlivens the food. The traditional hot, spicy flavor of this relish
varies with individual taste; use as much or as little gingerroot and/or hot peppers as you like to do the job. Chiles can be chopped for a really hot effect; or for mere warmth, leave them whole with a slit down one side. If you omit the chiles and gingerroot altogether, the result will be a pleasant pickle flavor with the natural sweetness of the crisp vegetables in the forefront.
Green cabbage (not Chinese cabbage) is the principle ingredient, but
other vegetables may be added for color (carrot) and variety (icicle
radish). One batch requires several days' steeping. The brine should be reused, for each time the vegetables contribute their flavor, and it gets better and better.
DIRECTIONS: =========== Discard limp outer leaves of cabbage. It is not necessary to separate leaves individually. Break the head into fairly large yet bite-sized pieces. Pat dry and let excess moisture evaporate.
To make marinade: Brin to a boil the water, peppercorns, and salt. Strain out the peppercorns as you pour the liquid into a plastic container (with air-tight lid), ceramic bowl, or crock. Let cool to room temperature.
When the brine has cooled, add the alcohol, then cabbage and additional
vegetables. Weigh these down with a clean, heavy ceramic object (I simply use a plate) or stone so that they remain submerged in the brine. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or air-tight lid. Store in the refrigerator for at least three days before uncovering. The first one or two batches may seem a bit salty and raw-tasting; after that a mellow, richly mature character develops. It can store indefinitely if kept cold, airtight, and clean.
Always use clean, dry utensils when removing the vegetables. You can
remove as much as you want at a time and add new vegetables before the
previous batch is used up.
To replenish the brine after several batches, add a little alcohol and a salt solution (1/2 teaspoon salt boiled with 1/2 cup water). The original marinade can be reboiled with additional water and salt, but this results in some flavor loss.

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