Vietnamese Pickled Mustard Greens or Dua Chua is a classic side dish that is eaten to a variety of Vietnamese dishes. This simple recipe from my grandma has only 5 ingredients and requires minimal cooking. And as a bonus, I share my mom’s recipe for roasted duck with mustard greens. It’s one of those dishes that doesn’t look too pretty, but taste-wise, is one of the best dishes I’ve ever had.

Pickled mustard greens on a white plate.

When I was living with my parents, my mom made me the most amazing Vietnamese pickled mustard greens sautéed with roasted duck. It was not that pretty to look at but it was definitely one of the best things I’ve ever had. After I ate it, I knew I had to share the recipe for this dish, so this recipe post is 2 recipes in one. I go through everything you need to know to make pickled mustard greens then at the bottom of the post I give you the recipe for this roasted duck with mustard greens dish. Read all the way to the bottom to get everything!

Mustard greens on a wooden table.

What are mustard greens?

There are a variety of mustard greens, but the one I am spotlighting in this recipe is Chinese mustard greens or gai choy in Cantonese. They’re a popular leafy green that can be found at most Asian grocery stores. I’m pretty sure I’ve only had gai choy one way and that’s as a pickled condiment in various dishes. Similar to pickled carrots and daikon, pickled mustard greens are used to balance out intense savory flavors. It is usually served as a side dish with dishes like thit kho, but it can also be cooked like I demonstrate below.

How my grandma’s mustard greens recipe is different

My mom and I love my grandma’s pickled mustard greens recipe because it is pickled just enough and has a subtle sweet flavor. However, she does not make it how most Vietnamese people make it. Typically, most recipes require you to salt the greens and then let it dry in the sun for 24 hours. This step allows the moisture from the mustard greens to evaporate, improving the fermentation of the leaves. However, my grandma doesn’t do that, and the reason why is that this makes the greens extremely salty and the flavor pretty pungent. The traditional way also takes a lot more time. Personally, I prefer my grandma’s recipe, but if you want to make this the traditional way, add that extra step of salting and drying the leaves first.

A close up of mustard greens.

Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments

  • Water – My mom always says it’s really important that the water is as clean as possible for the cleanest flavor. That’s why I boil the water and then put in the freezer to cool it down.
  • White vinegar – The vinegar is the ingredient that is the most important part of the pickling process. It helps preserve the vegetable, and gives it its sour flavor. White vinegar can be substituted with apple cider vinegar and rice wine vinegar, but the flavor will be slightly different because these vinegars have different flavors. For the most authentic flavor, I would recommend using white vinegar.
  • Granulated sugar – Balances out the tangy flavor of the vinegar.
  • Salt – Brings out the flavor of the other ingredients
  • Mustard Greens – Make sure you are buying Chinese mustard greens or gai choy for this recipe.

How to make Vietnamese pickled mustard greens

Boil water. Pour water into a bowl and put it in the freezer to cool for an hour until the water is cold. While the water is cooling, cut 1/4 lb of mustard greens into 2 inch pieces.

Once cold, combine the cold water, 1/4 cup of white vinegar, 2 1/2 tsp of granulated sugar, and 1 tsp of salt in a jar and mix. Add the mustard greens to the jar. Close the lid and let it sit out at room temperature for 3 days. After 3 days, put it in the fridge for storage. They can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 months.

What kind of jar should I use?

I would recommend using a glass jar without a metal cover. Metal tends to rust, and you don’t want that in your food.

How do you store dua chua?

These pickled carrots and daikon should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

How do you eat dua chua?

As I mentioned above, the most common way to enjoy pickled mustard greens is as a side dish. But as I mentioned above, probably my favorite way to eat mustard greens is sautéed with roasted duck or some kind of roasted protein. This is a dish my mom makes a lot with leftover bbq meats we get from Hong Kong BBQ restaurants. For the below recipe, you can use any kind of bbq meat. Some that my mom has used before are char siu, crispy roasted pork belly, and roasted duck.

Roasted duck with mustard greens recipe

For this recipe, you will need 3/4 lb of roasted duck, 1 cup of pickled mustard greens, 2 Roma tomatoes (any tomato should work though), 2 cloves of garlic (minced), 1 tbsp of fish sauce, and 1 tsp of granulated sugar.

First, saute the roasted duck and minced garlic for 1-2 minutes. Add the mustard greens and tomatoes. Saute for another 1-2 minutes. Lastly, add the fish sauce, granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt. Mix everything together. Cover and let it simmer for 10 minutes until the tomatoes get soft. Serve over a bed of white rice.

Sauteed roasted duck with mustard greens served over rice in a white bowl.

Did you make this dish?

If you made this dish, I would love to see!

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Pickled mustard greens on a white plate.

Get the Recipe:
Vietnamese Pickled Mustard Greens (Dua Chua)

Vietnamese Pickled Mustard Greens or Dua Chua is a classic side dish that is eaten to a variety of Vietnamese dishes. This simple recipe from my grandma has only 5 ingredients.
5 from 2 ratings

Ingredients
 
 

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • Boil 2 cups of water. Pour water into a bowl and put it in the freezer to cool for an hour until the water is cold.
  • While the water is cooling, cut ¼ lb of mustard greens into 2 inch pieces.
  • Once cold, combine the cold water, ¼ cup of white vinegar, 2 ½ tsp of granulated sugar, and 1 tsp of salt in a jar and mix.
  • Add the mustard greens to the jar. Close the lid and let it sit out at room temperature for 3 days.
  • After 3 days, put it in the fridge for storage. They can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Notes

  1. In traditional pickled mustard greens recipes, the mustard greens are salted and dried for 24 hours. My mom and I think this makes the mustard greens too salty and pungent, so we skip that step. Feel free to add that step before step 1 if you wish to make mustard greens the traditional way.
  2. A variation of this recipe includes adding thinly sliced onions or shallots for more flavor. Feel free to add them to the pickling liquid.
  3. Get my mom’s roasted duck with mustard greens recipe at the bottom of the blog post. Definitely a huge favorite of mine!
Serving: 0.5cup, Calories: 40kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 0.3g, Saturated Fat: 0.01g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Sodium: 1187mg, Potassium: 219mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 1715IU, Vitamin C: 40mg, Calcium: 75mg, Iron: 1mg
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