If you aren’t from the South, you may be thinking, “Chow what?” According to Chef Josh Valentine, chow chow is a pickle relish that, while mostly Southern, can be found on the East Coast. “It can be sweet or spicy with the addition of hot peppers,” he explains. “Chow chow is a great secret weapon. It goes well on everything from a charcuterie board to cheese, hot dogs, and hamburgers. It can even be fancy served with an oyster on the half shell.” At his new restaurant, Livegrass Butcher + Bistro in Edmond, Oklahoma, he adds chow chow to both the Southern (aka “the Pern”) Burger and the Okie Pig Sandwich.
To make his own spin on chow chow, Valentine uses a mix of green cabbage, onions, green tomatoes, green bell peppers, and jalapeños. He starts by salting the mixture aggressively and letting it sit overnight. Next, he rinses and drains the mix, and makes a sweet pickling liquid with sugar, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, and mustard seeds. He brings the liquid to a boil, then pours over the veggies. Chow chow is best when left to marinate for a couple of days in the fridge. If you’re short on time or just always want some on hand, pick up these hot and sweet options from Mrs. Campbell’s.