• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Pearl Sutton
  • James Freyr
stewards:
  • Burra Maluca
  • Mike Haasl
  • Joylynn Hardesty
master gardeners:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • thomas rubino
  • Jay Angler
  • Tereza Okava

Has Anyone Made Mei Gan Cai (Dried Fermented Mustard Greens)?

 
pollinator
Posts: 129
Location: zone 6a, ish
58
forest garden fungi trees food preservation cooking homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I watch a lot of Chinese YouTubes, and it seems like every one of them has made some kind of dried pickle like this.  Everyone seems to make it a little differently, though, and I was wondering if any permies had experience with it.

A few days ago I harvested 15lbs of turnip greens.  I line-dried them for a few days (we had rain right after I started drying them so I left them out longer), then chopped and massaged them with salt (probably way too much salt, but some on the videos use a handful for a bowl the size I have, so I did that) and packed them into a gallon-size glass jar.  15lbs ended up making a half gallon.  It didn't make enough brine, so I added another 2c of brine; it wasn't enough to submerge the vegetables, but in the Chinese videos they're not submerged so I don't think that part is as important.  I used this recipe (http://www.clovegarden.com/recipes/cpv_grnfms1.html) as a guideline.

They've got a while to go for fermentation, but then I'm wondering about my next step.  Some people dry them and then steam them and dry again; others just dry them and store them.  One tossed the wilted greens in a hot wok and kind of scorched them before salting them and letting them to ferment.  I'm just not sure what might get the best results and store the longest while retaining the best flavor.

I have another 5lbs or so of greens that I was going to blanch and freeze, but I might try a smaller jar of these and add some ginger and szechuan pepper.  If anyone has any input I'd love to hear it.  
 
Posts: 152
Location: the mountains of western nc
22
forest garden trees foraging chicken food preservation cooking wood heat homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
haven't made this, but i try to make a batch of gundru/gundruk/kyurtse every year. i guess it's nepalese/tibetan? i first saw it in one of the sandor katz books.

it almost sounds too easy/simple to be real - the greens are the only ingredient, no salt, nothin'. mustard/kale/turnip greens/whatever brassicaceous greens get wilted briefly, then the stems/spines crushed with a rolling pin. they're packed as tight as possible into a jar, lid screwed on, and left out in a sunny spot for at least a couple weeks. when they come out they're spread flat and dried, and then crumbled a bit to get them in jars. potent, powerful sour greens. i mostly use it ground in soup bases. you always know when it's there!
 
gardener
Posts: 1436
Location: South of Capricorn
500
dog rabbit urban cooking writing homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am ashamed to admit I threw my pickled mustard greens into the fridge a few months ago waiting for weather that would be okay for drying. I apparently forgot or subconsciously decided to skip a step. Occasionally I do pull some out to throw in something (like Greg says, you always know when it's in there).
Great site, btw, thanks for sharing. I'll be exploring!
 
S Tonin
pollinator
Posts: 129
Location: zone 6a, ish
58
forest garden fungi trees food preservation cooking homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
An update:  I decided today was the day to dry the greens, but I'm not sure if it's too early (started them June 6th).  The mold was just getting out of hand--it formed a full layer almost like a scoby every two or three days.  It also didn't smell right (kind of smoky, almost, but not bad), but once I scooped the mold layer off, the brine underneath smelled fresh.  I'd added more brine about a week ago, so there was about an inch covering the greens.  Even so, I discarded the topmost layer of greens and rinsed the rest thoroughly to make sure there was no mold stuck to them.  I don't know what they're supposed to taste like, but they didn't taste bad (a little bitter) so I assumed they were fine and put them in the dehydrator.  Oh, and the mold was white and powdery where it was dry and a little like a slime where it met the brine (I've heard white molds aren't usually the bad ones, but throw out anything with black or pink; I'm still a fermentation novice).

Next time I try these, I'm not going to add any brine or fool around with smooshing them down every day to try to get them covered in their own juice; that's how I got the mold in the first place.  I did a very small jar of mustard greens and just let them sit and do their thing and they turned out better--less bitter and more sour.
 
Posts: 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Greg Mosser: on your gundru/gundruk/kyurtse, do you use an air lock? thank you!
 
greg mosser
Posts: 152
Location: the mountains of western nc
22
forest garden trees foraging chicken food preservation cooking wood heat homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
no airlock, but maybe i should try it? except that it would probably suck back in when it cooled every night and thus wouldn't actually 'lock'. as it is, it does build up a little pressure and domes the jar lids a bit. i tend to prefer the hands-off approach, rather than trying to burp the jar enough to avoid damage to the lid.
 
Nola Lewis
Posts: 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
thanks! I was wondering about the pressure.  I am in GA (US) so it is very hot here. I'll probably try the airlock just bc I would be afraid of the jar exploding I do daikon radishes, kimchee, cucumbers and such with brine now. This sounds good and drying it means I won't use up more frig space when it's done.
 
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry. I wrung this tiny ad and it was still dry.
Abundance on Dry Land, documentary, streaming
https://permies.com/t/143525/videos/Abundance-Dry-Land-documentary-streaming
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic