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Dua Cai Chua (Vietnamese fermented cabbage)

Dua Cai Chua is a Vietnamese fermented cabbage, served alongside many stir-fries. The sweet-salty brine brings a good balance of flavors, and the mustard cabbage (Gai Choy) offers many textures: crunchy for the stem, tender for the leaves. Delicious to accompany stir-fries or sandwiches, it is usually eaten after only a few days of fermentation to fully enjoy the slightly tart and slightly sweet flavors. The fermentation would continue many more weeks ... but the sweet taste would disappear!
  • Level of difficulty: easy
  • Fermentation type: lactic
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Fermentation time: 4 days to a month


  • 500 g (1 lb) of mustard cabbage (gai choy), or bok choi
  • 50 g (1.7 oz) white, yellow or red onion (1/2 onion) and / or 6 green shallots in sections
  • 1 to 2 Thai peppers (optional)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (optional)
  • 1 C. white sugar or brown sugar
  • 10 g of salt, or 2% of the total weight of vegetables and water
  • 500 ml of water, or to fill the jar


  1. Cut the base of the mustard cabbage and detach the leaves. Clean briefly, then cut the leaves into 10 cm pieces, or to taste. Cut the onion into quarters and mince the cloves of garlic.
  2. Place the cabbage, garlic, Thai pepper, onion and / or shallots in a fermentation jar. Compress slightly with your hands or a pestle.
  3. Add salt and sugar. Fill the jar with water. Close and shake well to dissolve salt and sugar.
  4. With the pestle, compress to remove air bubbles. Cover with a weight or cabbage leaf to keep the vegetables under the brine.
  5. Close the jar while allowing the air to come out.
  6. Let it ferment for 4 to 7 days. Taste. If you like the taste and the level of acidity, move it to the refrigerator. Can be fermented up to a month.
Can be stored 1 year in the refrigerator.
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