Thai Fermented Mustard Greens

As a child I loved this condiment for my breakfast of boiled rice above all others! It is crisp, sour and salty with lots of “bones”, the crisp stem of the greens and less leaf which is what I love. It can be bought easily at most Asian markets. Sadly it is in a can, full of preservatives, food coloring and SUGAR! Once I discovered the recipe for them I always have them in my fridge ready for chopping and throwing on top of breakfast congee, soups and curries. Its an absolute must for topping khao soi if you are playing with noddles. The mustard greens can be bought seasonally at the Asian market.


  • 1 lb of mustard greens
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon of salt (celtic sea salt is great for this recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground rice or rice flour (I use sprouted rice flour)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 jar boiled clean or rinsed in boiling water


1- Rinse the mustard greens in cold water. Make sure you get the dirt between the leaves out, especially on the stems. Cut them lengthwise or into large chunks and place in a large bowl. Add the salt and massage it into the greens. Let it sit at room temperature overnight covered with a cloth.

2- After sitting in brine overnight, the greens will be wilted and bright green. Rinse them in cold running water to remove the salt. Pack them into the jar tightly.

3- Add a teaspoon of salt and the rice flour. Pour enough water to completely cover the greens. I use a small piece of plastic wrap to help secure the seal of the jar. You may want to place a small dish or bowl inside the jar, on top of the greens, to push the greens down and keep them submerged.

4- Keep the jar at room temperature. You'll see the color starting to change from green to an olive color. In cool weather it takes longer. Mine took a week in December, but on top of the fridge it ferments faster: 2 or 3 days.

5- As with all fermented foods use a clean utensil to take the greens out of the jar and be sure to not introduce any microbes into the jar or it will go bad. Serve as a side with almost anything you would kraut or pickles. If you are like me, you will want cauliflower congee every day!!