- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, more if needed
- 1/2 cup coarse sea salt, more if needed
- 4 large bunches mustard greens
- 2-3 inch piece peeled fresh ginger, sliced into coins
- 10 Szechuan peppercorns
- 3-4 dried aji amarillo chilies
- 1 whole star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1-2 tablespoons whey (the whey should be from live-culture products, like yogurt or sauerkraut, with lactobacilli to inoculate the mixture or else it won’t work properly).
- Sterilized gallon jar and a piece of cheesecloth large enough to cover jar opening.
Make your brine by bringing together 4 cups of water, sugar and salt to a boil. Set aside to cool.
Cut the mustard greens crosswise into quarters and add to a large nonreactive bowl. Don’t chop up into fine pieces. This will turn the mustard greens into mush.
Put the ginger, peppercorns, chilies, star anise, cinnamon stick, and whey into the jar. Pack mustard greens into the jar, pressing down tightly.
Pour the cooled brine over the greens to cover by at least an inch. Place the cheesecloth over the top and secure tightly with a piece of twine. Place jar in a dark area. Check frequently for exposed greens and make and add more brine to cover if needed. Start to check for sourness on the third day. The longer it goes the more sour it becomes.
For storage, cover the jar with an airtight lid and refrigerate. The quality will continue to improve after another week or so in refrigeration, but will start to deteriorate after a month.