Monday, 10 December 2007

Pickled green chillies

In most restaurants in Britain, the US or other western countries, you would normally find salt and pepper pots at the side of the table. There might also be a sugar bowl or a bottle of ketchup. In Chinese restaurants, particularly those serving Cantonese/Hong Kong food, one would usually find an assortment of soy sauce, black vinegar, pepper, toothpicks, chilli oil and cut green chillies pickled in vinegar (or you could easily ask for them from the waiter). At most Chinese restaurants or food stalls in Singapore and Malaysia, a saucer of cut chillies (red or green) with soy sauce would automatically be brought to your table long with the chopsticks and cutlery when you order your food.

I missed pickled green chillies terribly when I first moved to the UK. Wonton noodles, hor fun, fried rice and many other dishes just did not taste the same without green chillies. I was in a restaurant in London Chinatown a long time ago. When I asked for some cut green chillies, I was quite horrified to be told that it would cost me 20p. No, thanks, indeed!

Fortunately they are really easy to make at home and keep for a long time in the fridge. I now have a stash ready to go with my favourite 'tze char' food or when the craving kicks in any time.

Pickled green chillies

Dissolve 2 tbsp of sugar and 1 tsp salt in 250ml of white rice vinegar over low heat. Add enough sliced green chillies (about 5 large ones; remove the seeds to make them less spicy, if you wish) to be covered by the hot vinegar mix. Turn off the heat and leave the chillies to pickle and cool. When cool, pour into a screwtop jar (I used an old jam jar). It will keep well in the fridge for up to 1 month (if it doesn't get eaten first!). Drain desired amounts into a small saucer with soy sauce to accompany noodles, hor fun or stir-fries.


Little Corner of Mine said...

I love this pickled green chillies too, goes so well with noodle!

Nilmandra said...

Ah... the random food items that one misses from home :)

danny kwok said...

hihi, I just try my hand at pickled chilli today but I used too much vinegar, arggg. After I finish the chilli, can the vinegar in the jar be re-used by just adding more chilli in?

Nilmandra said...

Danny: Shouldn't be a problem to reuse the vinegar another time. I wouldn't reheat it though, since that might change the properties of the vinegar slightly. Just add in the chopped green chillies and leave to pickle for a few days. The heat in the first step speeds up the pickling process so just adding the chillies without heat will require about 2-3 days. I don't recommend reusing the vinegar more than once as the flavour of the vinegar would have changed through the pickling process.

By the way, the amount of sugar and salt can be varied to taste, so add a little more or less depending on how the chillies taste to you. The sugar is particularly important to balance out the tartness. Hope you enjoyed your first batch of green chillies :)

danny kwok said...

awesome!! thanks for the reply...:))) will go get more chillis for second round.

Terry said...

I'm Australian national but worked and lived in Singapore for 10 years and I also missed the pickled green chillies. When I found your recipe.I was over the moon and they taste exactly like the real deal. Thank you

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