Pickled green chillies for noodle soup

In Malaysia, these chillies are served everywhere with noodle soup – even thinking about them takes me back to early morning breakfasts on Jalan Alor in KL…large sigh with tummy rumbles.
I got shown how to make them in Penang in the little kopishop that I took the ‘do not spit on the floor’ photo in – they are lovely people and I think they thought I was funny turning up at the crack of sparrowfart everyday for my fix- I can’t remember the name of the cafe, but it’s on Jalan Macallister (I think – it’s the street just off from Komtar that has all the undertakers and things for Chinese funerals on – yes, a whole street)

The green version of the long red chillies in the last post seem to be harder to find in the UK, but you do need a green slightly fleshy but still hot chilli for this – I have made it with red, but it’s not quite the same…I guess you’d only notice if you’d had the green ones first, though.

For me, there’s no point in making a big batch, because while they keep for ages, they lose their quintessential juicy crunch after a bit…you can scale up the recipe if you’re feeding a football team.


3-4 long green chillies, sliced into 3-4 mm rounds
Boiling water
100ml white rice vinegar
2 teaspoons of sugar – my man in Penang used grated palm sugar – but ordinary sugar will do
1/4-1/2 tsp salt – to taste

Mix vinegar, salt and sugar in a bowl until they dissolve. Taste.
Put chillies in a bowl or a cup and pour boiling water over them. Let it stand for 30-45 seconds, and then drain. Pour on the vinegar solution. The chillies need to be completely immersed, so top up with a little more vinegar if necessary.
Place in the fridge for a couple of hours, and the chillies will turn a khaki green…and they are ready.

Phew – that’s the last recipe from my sunday afternoon making sauces…they were much quicker to make than to write about.


Chilli-ginger Sauce

This is the traditional sauce served with Hainanese Chicken Rice, at least in Malaysia – but I like it miles too much just to make it once a year….it’s one of those ‘if you’re going to have the chicken, you’ve GOT to have this, but if you’re going to have this, why restrict yourself’ things. 🙂

I like it with plain things like steamed tofu or steamed Chinese cabbage – it also makes an instant sambal mixed with grated carrot, daikon or sour fruit like pineapple or unripe mango – you know when you get a piece of fruit home and it’s not sweet when you cut it open, but you’ve cut it and you don’t know what to do with it? Now you do.  Keeps well in the fridge too.


6 red chillies (the kind that are about 15cm long and 1.5 cm wide, slightly fleshy)

5cm piece of ginger peeled

3 cloves of garlic

Salt to taste

Dash of white rice vinegar, to taste


Chop the chillies, ginger and garlic – I de-seed my chillies, not because I’m a wimp, but because I like the texture better that way. Then, in a mortar and pestle or in a whizzy machine, reduce to a rough paste. Add salt and vinegar – you can just bung everything (already roughly chopped) in together if you’re using a machine, but then blitz it in bursts….it should have a little texture.