All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Hakusai no amazuzuke / la bai cai / napa cabbage in sweet and spicy vinegar

Hua jiao Sichuan pepper adds a refreshing, mildly pungent note.


6 medium/large (300 g) hakusai napa cabbage leaves
1 knob ginger
1 red chili pepper (sliced)
1 1/2 tbsp vinegar
2-3 tsp sugar
1 tbsp canola oil and sesame oil in combination (equal parts)
20 hua jiao Sichuan peppercorns
Salt (not in photo)


Cut hakusai in 4-5cm pieces.
First divide into two, lower (white) sections and upper (green) sections.
Cut lower sections lengthwise into two, and cut crosswise into 4-5 cm. Cut upper sections lengthwise into three and cut crosswise into 4-5 cm
Place in bowl, sprinkle 1/2 tbsp salt, and toss well.

Cover and let sit for a few hours until water comes out.


Mix vinegar and sugar well, and add red chili pepper.


Squeeze out extra water from hakusai, and place in clean bowl.

Julienne ginger.

Add ginger and vinegar mixture to hakusai, and mix well.


In a small frying pan, put canola oil, sesame oil and hua jiao, and heat until slightly smoking.

Pour over hakusai, and mix well.

Refrigerate a few hours to overnight.

  • When in a hurry, cut hakusai into thinner strips (especially white section).
  • When pouring heated oil over hakusai, it should make a sizzling sound. If not, it means that the oil temperature is not high enough and the dish will taste greasy.
  • At first the dish tastes like a light salad, and then becomes like pickles after a day or two. (This is originally a pickled dish.)

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