Chow Chow Relish

The term “chow chow” can have several different meanings.  But today, I am going to be referring to the popular Southern American relish dish.  And because I like to add chile peppers to everything, I am making a spicy chow chow relish. 

There are many different varieties of chow chow, and many of them include green tomatoes.  I decided to adapt the recipe to something that could be made year round, and not just when tomatoes are in season.   I used a combination of shredded cabbage, onions, bell peppers and jalapeno peppers.  

I also happened to have a head of beautiful purple cabbage, so I decided to use it in this recipe.  The colors were gorgeous! 

chow chow

If you don’t like things spicy, you can omit the jalapenos… but they really do add a nice element of heat.  

Spicy Chow Chow Relish

Makes 3 cups of spicy chow chow relish in about 25 minutes

  •  2 cups finely shredded cabbage
  • 1 large onion, cut into thin strips
  • 1 bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, cut into thin strips
  • 2 jalapenos, cut into thin slices (optional) 
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 3/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger

Combine all ingredients in a pan over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium.  Allow to simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, then transfer to a clean glass jar.   Once cool, store in a refrigerator. 

Refrigerator chow chow

You could also can this spicy chow chow relish, (here are a bunch of different canned versions), but I am always a little apprehensive canning, so I tend to make smaller batches of things that will keep in the refrigerator a while.  My refrigerator pickles are pretty tasty too, if you’re looking for more recipes! 

If you keep this spicy chow chow in the fridge, it should keep about a month, but as with everything, always use your best judgement and consult your sniffer before eating anything. 

What is your favorite thing to put chow chow on?

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