Sichuan Quick-Pickled Vegetables (Pao Cai)

Sichuan Pao Cai – Pickled vegetables are often present and served before and during meals all over China. In the Sichuan city of Chengdu, restaurant diners fill a small bowl with pickles from a bucket before even sitting down. Keep these in the refrigerator to grab some whenever you want. These utterly delicious quick-pickling vegetables are a sweet, sour, and crunchy addition to any meal.

Pao Cai – Sichuan Pickled Vegetables

These quick and easy pickled vegetables can be stored in the refrigerator until some spicy, rich, or grilled foods call for them. They can be eaten as soon as they're chilled and are great for munching on before, during, and after a meal.
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Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Chinese, Sichuan, Western China
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Soaking: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 1 quart
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Quart size jar with lid


  • ½ head Chinese cabbage
  • 1 large Carrot
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 splash Chile oil (garnish)
  • 1 pinch Sugar (garnish)


  • Cut cabbage into chunks and roughly chop carrot. Place both in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times until diced, being careful not to chop too fine. Dicing vegetables may be done by hand as well.
    Place chopped cabbage and carrot into a colander over the sink. Mix in sugar and salt and let sit for at least one hour.
    Place into a lidded jar or container and refrigerate until ready to use. To serve, place in small bowls, and sprinkle a little sugar and chili oil on top.


Calories: 156kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 7057mg | Potassium: 476mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 12765IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 2mg

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