Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 261

Pickled Lettuce: Anyone that knows me is probably well aware of how much I love anything pickled. I'll even eat things I don't like (hello, celery) if they're pickled, and I've found that pickling can make even the most mundane vegetables taste good. When I noticed this jar of pickled lettuce in the bag of goodies that my friend's parents brought me from their trip, I was excited. I would have never imagined lettuce as being something that would taste good pickled, but who am I to judge?
According to the label, this one was packaged in Taiwan, and the ingredients were comprised of only lettuce (not sure what kind), soy sauce, salt, sugar, and lactic acid. The contents didn't look like lettuce at all, so I was curious to find out what was really inside the jar. Once I got the lid off, each piece of "lettuce" looked like a little disc, so maybe they were just using the stalks and not the leaves? The label pictured lettuce complete with leaves like you see in any grocery store, so who knows? The pickling liquid smelled like sweet soy sauce, which wasn't really a surprise based on the ingredients.
I eagerly tried a piece, and the texture was slightly crunchy, but more like a rubbery water chestnut. The flavor was more like soy sauce than anything else, but the added sugar and salt made it a bit more interesting. Not bad, but I'm not sure if this stuff is meant to be eaten as a side or condiment. I usually don't mind eating anything pickled right out of the jar, but I can't say I'll do that with these due to the sweetness. From what I can tell, it can be used as an ingredient in several Asian dishes. I'm not exactly sure, so if anyone knows more about it, please feel free to let me know.


  1. I have no less than 10 different pickled items in my refrigerator! Polish market on Lawrenceville Suwanee Rd has a lot of pickled items! I must say that GREEK pickled vegetables (carrots, cauliflower, turnips, celery, and peppers) are delicious. The kalamata olive reigns as top pickled food for me!

  2. My fave pickled items usually come from the Eastern Euro or Asian sections. I've also pickled a few foods at home over the last couple years. Good stuff.

  3. Weird! I was expecting you to say it was a wilty, slimy leaf of lettuce. Good to know it's pickled lettuce stem.

  4. I can't comment on its exact origins or true purpose but growing up we would eat this stuff with congi or rice porridge accompanied with a bunch of other pickled goods be it seaweed, bamboo, sardines, etc. There's simply too many pickled items to list. I was born here and my parents are from Taiwan.