Pao Cai

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Pao Cai

Postby Christopher Weeks on Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:39 am

Hey, does anyone here keep Pao Cai?

I was at Sandor's fermentation residency in April and he introduced us to a Sichuanese pickling technique/flavor called Pao Cai. It's continuous ferment, where you cycle veggies in and out of spiced brine. Not too revolutionary, really, but the Sichuanese spices are really fun. It also uses some liquor to (I think) fight hostile infection at the surface. It's interesting that the veggies pickle pretty quickly in mature brine.

These videos about his trip to China have been up on YouTube for almost a year, but I didn't even know about them until I was there at Sandor's place and they're fantastic. The first one -- the one that teaches us about Pao Cai, is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4elw9rIs9Y. I sometimes watch cooking videos just for the imagery and these are good enough at that to be worth it even aside from my interest in fermentation.

I started in a straight-walled crock, but have since bought a traditionally shaped, Chinese, glass pickling jar for this like these ones: https://www.wokshop.com/newstore/produc ... kling-jar/ (though I got mine from Amazon). I doubt it matters, but the shape might -- for minimizing interface with the air, and it's fun.
Christopher Weeks
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