Chinese pickles have a delightful Chinese flavor and crunchy texture.
You can eat it as it is as a pickle, but it can also be used as an ingredient in fried rice or ramen to enhance the quality of your dishes.
Since it has a strong flavor, there may be times when you irresistibly want to eat a dish using Chinese pickles, but there are many households that do not have them on hand.
However, many households don’t always have it on hand. In such cases, it is very useful to know what to substitute for Chinese pickles!
In this article, I would like to introduce you to some useful “substitutes for Chinese pickles” that you can use when you are in trouble.
Characteristics of Chinese pickles and tips on choosing substitutes
Chinese pickles are a leafy vegetable that is a type of mustard greens.
Pickles made from the vegetable Chinese pickles are also simply called “Chinese pickles,” and in Japan, the word “Chinese pickles” is probably associated with pickled vegetables.
Pickled Chinese pickles are characterized by their peculiar flavor, tangy piquancy, and crunchy texture.
With these characteristics, it can be used as a garnish for Chinese dishes.
When choosing such a substitute for Chinese pickles, be sure to keep in mind that they should have a strong flavor and texture.
Chinese pickles are pickled with salt, powdered chili peppers, Chinese peppercorns, ukiyo, and more than a dozen other seasonings and spices, giving them a strong flavor and unique richness.
Therefore, when choosing a substitute, it is a good idea to choose one that has a “robust taste” that can compete with that of Chinese pickles.
Also, if the salt or pungency is a little stronger, it can produce a flavor similar to that of Chinese pickles.
A good substitute would have a nice crunchy, crispy texture!
6 recommended substitutes for Chinese pickles
Substitute for Chinese pickles 1: bamboo shoots
Menma, which is made by processing bamboo shoots, is a good substitute for Chinese pickles.
Like Chinese pickles, it is sometimes used as a topping for ramen, but it can also be eaten on its own as a snack with drinks, and because it has a strong flavor, it is a perfect substitute for Chinese pickles.
When substituting menma, you can use the same method as when using Chinese pickles as is.
The salty taste of menma is very effective, and it can be used as a topping for fried rice, stir-fries, and ramen.
Substitute for Chinese pickles 2: Pickled leaf mustard
Made from a vegetable called takana, a variant of carrashina, pickled takana can also be used as a substitute for Chinese pickles.
Pickled takana has a tangy and salty taste, and the way it is used is very similar to that of Chinese pickles, so it will give you a similar atmosphere to Chinese pickles.
When substituting pickled takana, you can use the same as when using Chinese pickles as they are.
Since it goes well with oil, you can substitute it for fried rice or stir-fries for a more delicious substitute.
Substitute for Chinese pickles 3: Broccoli stems
Broccoli, which is full of nutrition and has a unique shape, can be used in place of Chinese pickles.
The main edible part of broccoli is the part where the flower buds are gathered, but the stems can also be cooked to perfection with a little effort.
They have a crunchy texture and can be used as a substitute for Chinese pickles.
When substituting broccoli stems, cut them into thin slices and lightly heat them.
If you just want to substitute the texture of Chinese pickles, this is fine, but if you want the flavor to be closer to that of Chinese pickles, you can add one more step as follows.
What to prepare
- Broccoli stems
- An appropriate amount of sesame oil
- A pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of chicken broth
- Mirin (sweet sake): 1 tsp
- A few drops of chili oil
Fry the thinly sliced broccoli stems in a pan with sesame oil, and season with other seasonings!
It’s very easy to make broccoli stems in the style of Chinese pickles.
Substitute for Chinese pickles 4: Kohlrabi
Kohlrabi, which looks like a turnip, can also be used as a substitute for Chinese pickles.
It has a gentle flavor and crunchy texture similar to that of radish or cabbage, and with a little ingenuity, you can make a substitute for Chinese pickles.
When using kohlrabi as a substitute, first peel the skin thickly, slice it, and then heat it.
If you just want the texture, you can substitute the cooked one as it is, but if you want to make it even more like Chinese pickles, you can modify it in the same way you would arrange broccoli stems.
However, if you want to make it more like Chinese pickles, you can add a touch of Chinese pickles as well as broccoli stems.
Substitute for Chinese pickles 5: Cabbage core
Cabbage, which is useful in all kinds of recipes from salads to stir-fries, can also be used as a substitute for Chinese pickles depending on its part.
The main edible part of cabbage is the leaves, but it is the “core” that is often thrown away that can be used in place of Chinese pickles.
With just a little ingenuity, you can make a great substitute for the core of the cabbage.
When using cabbage core as a substitute, first cut it into thin slices and cook it.
If you just want the texture, you can use it as is, but if you want to make it more like Chinese pickles, you can make the following changes!
What to prepare
- Cabbage core
- Sesame oil…1/2 tbsp
- Soy sauce…2 tablespoons
- Sugar…1/2 tbsp
- Red pepper…a little
Heat the sliced cabbage core and a heatproof bowl with all the seasonings in it in the microwave (600W) for 2 minutes, then simply mix the core with the cooked seasonings and you’re done!
This is all it takes to make a delicious Chinese pickles substitute.
Substitute for Chinese pickles 6: Chinese cabbage core
Like cabbage, the core of Chinese cabbage can be used as a substitute for Chinese pickles.
The core is crunchier than the leaves, and some people may throw it away instead of using it for cooking, but you should try making a substitute for Chinese pickles.
When substituting the core of Chinese cabbage, you can use it in the same way as the core of the cabbage.
The core of Chinese cabbage is light in flavor, so the seasoning will blend well.
- Chinese cabbage is characterized by a peculiar flavor and tangy, pungent, crunchy texture, and can be used as a garnish in Chinese cuisine.
- It is best to choose a substitute for Chinese pickles with a strong flavor and texture in mind.
- For substitutes for Chinese pickles, the following two6 are recommended. [Menma, pickled takana, broccoli stems, kohlrabi, cabbage core, Chinese cabbage core]