1 bunch of Water Spinach/Rau Muống
A few garlic cloves, thinly sliced
A few whole small red Thai chili
A small piece of carot, thinly sliced for decoration (optional)
Ice water for stop cooking
Water, vinegar, sugar, and salt with ratio: mix 1 cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp salt together and stir well to dissolve sugar and salt.
1. Separate stems, leaves and young tips of Rau Muống. Use the fingers (do not use the fingers’tip because the sap will stain your nail beds, use glove if available) to remove and discard the tough ends. Save the leaves and young tips for other dish. Cut the stems into 2 in. lengths. Wash and drain.
2. Boiling water in a large pot, blanch the Rau Muống’s stems quickly just long enough to wilt and become deep transparent green shade. Immerse them into ice cold water until cool. Put them into a clean glass jar with red pepper, garlic, and carrot if use. Pour enough vinegar solution to cover the veggie. They are ready to eat at room temperature after 1 days. If not using right away, store them in the fridge. The color will change slowly to brownish shade with the time but the pickled Rau Muống still good for a while in the fridge.
3. It is used as a side dish with boiled, stewed pork, etc. When serving, lightly squeeze the pickled Rau Muống and put it in a platter.
*Note: in Vietnam, we boil water first then mix with other ingredients. Our water here is so clean we can drink from the tap directly so I skip the boiling part and have not problem using fresh tap water. If you live in areas that have problem with water just use drinking water. Alum and lime water is used in some old recipes for preserve the crispness of pickled veggie but I do not use them.