I had a craving for Chinese sour mustard greens the other day and decided to make a traditional dish pairing the greens with pork. For those who aren’t familiar, the Chinese make something called “suan cai,” which are fermented mustard greens. It’s sold in packages at the grocery store, so you don’t have to make it yourself. For me, the mustard greens are almost as much sour as it is salty, so if you’re expecting kimchi type sourness, it’s not. And because it’s fermented mustard greens instead of cabbage, you get a whole different texture that’s more leafy. These mustard greens can be chopped up and used as a condiment on top or rice or noodles.

I chose to pair it with pork, which is quite traditional. I’d say the leanness of pork pairs well because it picks up the salty and sour flavors from the mustard greens. But what’s really nice is the marinade I put with the pork which consists of very typical Chinese flavors - oyster sauce, sugar, and garlic. That sweetened up the pork just a tad and gave it that sweet-salty umami flavor that worked very well with the mustard greens.

Since I cut the pork up into small short strips, it picked up the flavor of the marinade very quickly - about 5 minutes or so. Everything was pretty much eyeballed, so the recipe is super and quick. Oh did I mention it’s super delicious as well?

(Full recipe Below)

  1. Marinade pork with oyster sauce, sugar, garlic, cornstarch, and 1 tablespoon of oil for 5 minutes.

marinated pork

  1. While the pork is marinating, cut the mustard greens into a fine dice.

Chinese pickled mustard greens

  1. On medium high to high heat, cook the pork for 4-5 minutes. While pork is still in the pan, add several tablespoons of water to deglaze and make a sauce. Add in chopped mustard greens and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

Cooked strips of pork

Ingredients - 1/2 lb Pork (cut into strips) - 1 T Oyster sauce - 1 T Corn Starch - 1 tsp Minced garlic or garlic powder - 1/2 tsp Sugar - 1/2 Package suan cai - 2 T Olive oil