Dua cai chua is a delicious Vietnamese fermented cabbage recipe, served alongside many stir-fries.
The sweet and salty brine creates a wonderful balance of flavours, and the mustard cabbage (gai choy) offers various textures: crunchy for the stem, tender for the leaves.
Delicious as a side for stir-fries or sandwiches, dua cai chua is usually eaten after only a few days of fermentation to fully enjoy the slightly sweet and tangy flavours.
It could be left to ferment for many more weeks, but the sweet taste would disappear!
Dua Cai Chua Recipe
- 500 g mustard cabbage (gai choy), or bok choi (1 lb)
- 50 g white, yellow or red onion (1/2 onion) and/or 6 green shallots cut in sections (1.7 oz)
- 1 to 2 Thai peppers (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic (optional)
- 1 tablespoon white sugar or brown sugar
- 10 g salt (or 2% of the total weight of vegetables and water)
- 500 ml water (or enough to fill the jar)
- Cut the bottom of the mustard cabbage and detach the leaves from the stem. Clean briefly, then cut the leaves into 10 cm pieces, or to taste. Cut the onion into quarters and mince the cloves of garlic.
- Place the cabbage, garlic, Thai pepper, onion and/or shallots in a fermentation jar. Compress slightly with your hands or a tamper.
- Add salt and sugar. Fill the jar with water. Close and shake well to dissolve.
- With a tamper or your hands, compress to remove air bubbles. Cover with a fermentation weight or cabbage leaf to keep the vegetables under the brine.
- Close the lid while allowing the air to come out.
- Let it ferment for 4 to 7 days, then taste. If you like the taste and the level of acidity, move it to the refrigerator. Your dua cai chua can be fermented up to a month.
Can be stored 1 year in the refrigerator.