CHOW CHOW (North American Pickled Relish)

Chow Chow is a North American pickled relish that is commonly made with a variety of vegetables, such as cabbage, green tomatoes, onions, peppers, and sometimes carrots or beans. It’s typically seasoned with a mixture of vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, and other spices, giving it a tangy and slightly sweet flavor. Here’s a basic recipe to make Chow Chow at home:


  • – 1 small head of cabbage, shredded
  • – 2 green tomatoes, diced
  • – 1 large onion, diced
  • – 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • – 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • – 1/2 cup diced carrots (optional)
  • – 1/2 cup diced green beans (optional)
  • – 2 cups white vinegar
  • – 1 cup granulated sugar
  • – 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • – 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • – 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • – 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • – 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • – 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


1. In a large pot, combine the shredded cabbage, diced green tomatoes, diced onion, diced bell peppers, diced carrots (if using), and diced green beans (if using).

2. In a separate saucepan, combine the white vinegar, granulated sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, ground turmeric, ground mustard, ground ginger, ground black pepper, and kosher salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved.

3. Once the sugar is dissolved, pour the hot vinegar mixture over the vegetables in the large pot.

4. Stir the mixture well to combine all the ingredients.

5. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender-crisp and the flavors have melded together.

6. Remove the pot from the heat and let the Chow Chow cool to room temperature.

7. Once cooled, transfer the Chow Chow to clean, sterilized jars, making sure to pack the vegetables tightly and leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace at the top of each jar.

8. Seal the jars tightly with lids and rings, and store them in the refrigerator for up to several weeks. The flavors will continue to develop and intensify over time.

9. Serve the Chow Chow as a condiment or relish alongside grilled meats, sandwiches, hot dogs, or burgers. It also makes a delicious addition to salads, tacos, or cheese platters.

Enjoy this tangy and flavorful Chow Chow as a versatile and delicious condiment that adds a pop of flavor to any dish!

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