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Crazy for pickles 泡黄瓜


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Looks great, abc! I'll try this when I come back from my summer break.


I love Chinese pickles. My girlfriend's hometown is a heaven for preserved foods, whether dried or pickled. The 粥 places have 20+ different kinds of pickles to select from. I never liked eating 粥 (I'm really not a bland food kind of guy) until I tried her hometown's.  I've also made a lot of pickles this year after questioning her auntie: pickled garlic, pickled long beans, pickled mustard greens. Wish I had more room so I could put my pickle crocks outside - they can get a bit stinky inside!

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2 hours ago, Alex_Hart said:

The 粥 places have 20+ different kinds of pickles to select from. 


Wow! That's a lot. More than around here. 


We have a recent addition to the local wet market: A pickle maker from Sichuan, close to Chongqing. I've bought some of his wares and sampled some others. Incredibly good. Supposedly without unhealthy additives. Very clean flavors. So I only make cucumber pickles at home, and buy the others from him. The long green bean 豆角 pickles are especially good, as are the white radish 白萝卜ones. 


2144211449_IMG_20180606_100310_1-60.thumb.jpg.610b016daa6f19a452ff12651165cceb.jpg     1227404428_IMG_20180606_100056-55.thumb.jpg.ea73c0454765693fa384743da3b5a8f9.jpg

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Yep - they have everything, and in several styles. You can probably find 4-5 different kinds of pickled radish there (spicy, sweet, super sour, etc).


This store looks awesome! I used to buy pickles from a lady in the markets nearby, but I once saw her unpacking them from cardboard boxes. When I asked where she made them, she said she just buys it from a local factory. Was pretty disappointed.

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10 hours ago, tomovhell said:

Oh I love pickles so this sounds great. I will definitely try this out!


Hope they work out well for you, @tomovhell -- You should be able to find what you need for them in London, at least in Chinatown:


White rice vinegar (Not apple cider vinegar.) -- 白醋. The label should have 米 somewhere in the product name. 

Aged vinegar -- 老陈醋 (The best of these come from Shanxi.) 

Old ginger -- 老姜 (This is the kind with the brown skin on the outside.)

Licorice root -- 甘草 (Might be in the TCM section of a Chinese grocery store 超市 or it might be in the tea section, as it is used in beverages.)

Any kind of pickles that are firm and fresh. Don't need to be Chinese at all. If they have been coated with wax or preservative oil, scrub that off. Peel them only as a last resort.) 


Let us know how it goes! 


Here's what mine look like this morning, Day 2. (Made them last weekend, today is Tuesday.)


723677359_IMG_4907-65.thumb.jpg.d5d1a8ef03af9cef32e0012cb88ef511.jpg     549568252_IMG_4909-65.thumb.jpg.4f04e55f3d8d241c944a7517035312fe.jpg



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On 7/1/2018 at 1:39 PM, abcdefg said:

hich were, you guessed it, mantou, lufu, and pickles.



always with pleasant mouthful 唾液 when reading your recipe, just 1 question, is lufu should be 腐乳? could you help to double check in the market? never heard of 卤腐 in my life time...



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Thanks, @Bibu -- Lufu 卤腐 is a type of spicy fermented tofu that has its origins in Yunnan, probably in or around Yuxi 玉溪 a little south of Kunming. It is sometimes written as 油卤腐 because the tofu is marinated in spices and oil while it is acquiring its distinctive, strong flavor. Apparently it dates back to the early Qing, maybe even the late Ming. Currently, 石林 has become a lufu production center, east of Kunming.  


It has spread now to parts of Sichuan and parts of Guizhou. In stores, it's usually found in brown crockery jars. Here's a picture (from Baidu.)




I've never tried making it at home, though some of my friends' parents still do. I buy it hand made in the wet market. The seller fishes a few pieces out of a large pan, where it is partly submerged in dark, pungent oil. Here's a photo I took there a couple weeks ago. 


















The process of making it involves lots of chilies, salt and many other spices. It is usually started during the winter, and takes 4 to 6 months to complete. The end result keeps well, and is usually spread on mantou 馒头 or mixed into rice porridge 粥。I sometimes mix it into bland vegetables, such as long green beans 豆角。


It is interesting stuff; not for the meek or the timid. Strong flavors. 



...just 1 question, is lufu should be 腐乳? could you help to double check in the market? never heard of 卤腐 in my life time...


It is very similar to 腐乳, with Yunnan spices. Here's more about it, including how it is made: https://baike.baidu.com/item/油卤腐/3141216?fr=aladdin  


I actually just now found another article saying that 卤腐 and 腐乳 are basically two names for the same thing: http://baijiahao.baidu.com/s?id=1604162229707321745&wfr=spider&for=pc 





Thanks for asking! Your question stimulated me to learn more about the subject than I knew before.

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yes, same thing, here is from JD.com:  买2送1云香嫂油腐乳265g云南特产牟定豆腐乳香辣卤腐霉豆腐调味品下饭菜


Pickles various from place to place, town to town, I guess it is because the climate, the soil, the water and the local flavor add the bias to the final flavor and quality.


I never tired of trying pickle when traveling, you always find difference and exciting flavors, even basically they are from the same material and way fo production.


One more thing, the history of 腐乳or卤腐should be every long and origin in yellow river area, because of soil bean is northern and origin in China.a wild guess is at least more than 2000 years.


BTW, I have been to Yunnan many times, never know 卤腐. guess I asked 腐乳 and they give 卤腐 to me and never mentioned a word! LOL!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's a snapshot from yesterday at the market when I found all three kinds of cucumbers side by side. The big "English" ones come in medium and large diameter. They are excellent for cooking (and for making pickles.) The small ones on the left, about 10 or 12 cm long, cost a little more than the others. I like to put two or three of these in my pocket as a snack when I'm out in the park. The long ones on the right with the bumpy skin are best for salads such as 拍黄瓜。



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