Yibin Yacai (Preserved Mustard Stem), Set of 2
Yibin yacai is one of the most elusive of Sichuan specialty ingredients in the U.S. but also one of the most useful. Made from the stem of a kind of mustard plant that grows in Sichuan, it is dried, flavored and fermented in a multistep process that ends in a one-of-a-kind taste—not too salty, sweet or spicy, just savory veggie essence.
Yibin is the Sichuan city where it is made, and the "suimi" prefix for this type means "broken rice," or that it has been minced rather than left as long stems.
Yacai is a must-have ingredient for dry-fried green beans, dan dan noodles and several other dishes and is lovely mixed into stir-fried vegetables. The Suimiyacai brand from the company of the same name is the original, and its imitators are decidedly inferior (though they may try to fool you with copycat packaging). This is the real deal. Go here to learn more about how Yibin Suimiyacai is made.
Once open, transfer to an air-tight container and store in refrigerator.
Producer: Sichuan Yibin Suimi Yacai Co.
Size: Two packages, each 8.1 ounces (230 grams)
Ingredients: mustard greens, salt, brown sugar, compound spices (chili, ginger, Sichuan pepper, Chinese cinnamon, fennel, clove, Chinese nutmeg, garlic), potassium sorbate, acesulfame-k
PLEASE NOTE that this company sometimes prints the PRODUCTION DATE on the packaging, along with the shelf l life, NOT the expiration date. Also note that the company is currently using a red version of the packaging, but it is the exact same product.