Enjoy Chinese culture with pickled delicacies


POSTED: Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The 61st annual Narcissus Festival continues a tradition of showcasing Chinese art and culture, including the Narcissus Queen's Pageant. The festival had its humble beginnings in 1950, when it was organized to promote commerce with Asia.

In commemoration of the festival, Lenora Ching, best known as “;The Pickle Lady,”; shares a few recipes. Ching is the author of two cookbooks: “;The Pickle Lady's Pickle Passion”; and “;The Pickle Lady's Pickle Passion Cookbook.”;

Chinese Pickled Pig Feet with Ginger and Eggs

3 pounds pig feet (see note)
3 quarts water
1-1/2 pounds fresh ginger
2 tablespoons Hawaiian salt
1 cup Chinese black vinegar
1/2 cup white vinegar
4 cups water
1 pound dark brown sugar or 1 pound Chinese slab sugar (wong tong)
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

Have butcher cut pig feet into 2-inch pieces; rinse well.





        » Place: Hawaii Theatre Center

        » Time: 6:30 p.m. Saturday

        » Tickets: $34 and $29, available at Hawaii Theatre Center

        » Call: Chinese Chamber of Hawaii, 533-3181, or visit

Coronation Ball

        » Place: Hilton Hawaiian Village, Coral Ballroom

        » Time: 5 p.m. Jan. 30; 5 p.m. no-host cocktails, 6:15 p.m. program and dinner

        » Tickets: $68

        » Call: 533-3181

In large sauce pot, boil 3 quarts water. Add pig feet, bring water to boil again; simmer 10 minutes. Pour into colander in sink and run cool water over pig feet, rubbing scum off of meat; drain and refrigerate. Wash sauce pot.

Scrape off ginger skin with paring knife and slice into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Place ginger into clean sauce pot, mix in Hawaiian salt and let sit for 1 hour. Add vinegars and the 4 cups of water and bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.

Add pig feet and sugar to sauce pot, bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer. After pig feet have been simmering 15 minutes, add peeled hard-boiled eggs (the egg whites will turn a rich golden brown and take on vinegary taste). Simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until fork tender, stirring occasionally.

Ladle fat off the top and discard. Serve meat and gravy in individual bowls, topped with egg. Serve with hot rice. Serves 6.

Note: Find whole, fresh pig feet in Chinatown. Ask the butcher to cut it into manageable pieces. Outside Chinatown, purchase fresh island or mainland pig feet from the grocer.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving (not including ginger or rice): 500 calories, 16 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 275 mg cholesterol, greater than 2000 mg sodium, 77 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 77 g sugar, 17 g protein

Sweet Sour Young Chinese Mustard (Kai Choy) Pickles

2 pounds young kai choy
2 cups water
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Hawaiian salt
1 tablespoon slivered ginger
Fresh red chili peppers, seeded and slivered

Cut cabbage into bite-size pieces.

Boil the 2 cups water. Add cabbage, stirring until it darkens and glistens (about 1 to 3 minutes). Drain and place in bowl.

Boil the 1/2 cup water, vinegar, sugar and salt, stirring until salt and sugar are dissolved. Pour hot mixture over cabbage; add ginger and chili pepper; mix well.

Bottle and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days before serving. Yields about a half-gallon.

Approximate nutritional information, per 2-tablespoon serving: 15 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 200 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 0 g protein

Chinese Pickled Tea Eggs

1 dozen eggs
2-inch piece fresh ginger, smashed
1/4 cup Chinese black tea leaves
2 tablespoons Chinese five spice
3 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Hawaiian salt
String and cheesecloth

Cover eggs with water in saucepan. Bring to boil, turn off heat and let sit 15 minutes.

Drain and cool eggs in cold water. When cooled, drain water. Gently tap each egg with back of spoon to crack shells while keeping shells intact; set aside.

Place ginger, tea leaves, Chinese five spice, star anise and cinnamon stick into 6-inch square of cheesecloth; tie with string. Fill sauce pot with 8 cups water; add spice bag, soy sauce, sugar and Hawaiian salt.

Bring to boil, add eggs, bring back to boil and simmer for one hour. Remove from heat and let eggs cool in liquid.

Refrigerate eggs in liquid for one week to allow spices and seasoning to permeate eggs.

To serve, peel eggs and cut in half or serve whole. Makes 12 eggs.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 90 calories, 5 g total fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 200 mg cholesterol, 500 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 7 g protein

For more recipes from Hawaiian Electric Co., visit