Pickled Mustard Greens (Dưa Cải Chua)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Author: Katie Le | Katie’s Test Kitchen


  • 12 cups of water
  • 6 tbsp of sugar
  • 3 tbsp of canning salt (I prefer to use canning salt reduce the sediments that might set on the bottom of the jar.  But regular salt would work as well.)
  • 2 to 2.5 lbs of mustard greens, large curvy matured ones, aka Gai Choy (chopped to small pieces about 1 inch length)
  • 1 large white or yellow onion (sliced)
  • a few shallots – OPTIONAL
  • Large glass jar with a tight lid (cleaned well, drained dry)


  1. Brine – Bring 12 cups of water to a boil. Dissolve sugar and salt. Turn off heat and allow it to cool down to about 100 F to 105 F (warm level – won’t burn your fingers!).
  2. Wash Mustard Greens well, multiple times. Then soak them in hot tap water for about 15-30 minutes to slightly wilt the mustard greens. Drain well by shaking off all excess water.
  3. Add Mustard Greens, onion and shallot to the jar and pour warm water mixture on top to completely submerge them. To speed up the pickling process you could place the jar in a warm area in the house such as by the windowsill.  After day 3 or 4th the Mustard Greens should be ready to eat. To slow down the the pickling process place jar in the fridge. To stop the pickling process drain liquid and place mustard greens in the fridge.  Pickled Mustard Greens go well with Thit Kho Tau or you can use to make spare ribs Mustard Greens soup which is also very popular in Vietnam.

Note: the brine could get a bit cloudy during the pickling process. That’s normal, as long as the brine is not slimy the Mustard Greens should be fine!


9 Comments on “Pickled Mustard Greens (Dưa Cải Chua)”

    • No particular reason, this is the recipe that I learned from my Mom and it works every time. Other recipes that I know actually do not use white wine vinegar. Perhaps try both and see what works for you. Good luck!

  1. Hi Katie- I love your recipes, how long with the pickled greens last in the fridge and do you store them in in a bowl or how? Thanks,

    • It lasts quite awhile in the fridge, 2-3 weeks easily. What I do is drain the liquid once it’s sour enough for me and keep the mustard green in a food container. Seal tight and place it in the fridge.

  2. Made on Jan 27, today Jan 29 the brine is cloudy. It’s a bit slimy. Would it cause cloudy and slimy because I cut the red shallots?

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