Ginger Bean Chow-Chow


Recipe: Ginger Bean Chow-Chow

Summary: Chow-chow recipes vary regionally, but chow chow is generally a tangy, sweet and spicy relish made with coarsely chopped vegetables served either as a condiment (on a hot dog or sandwich, for instance) or drained and served as a vegetable side. This chow-chow recipe includes green beans, fennel, green tomato and bell pepper, but you could try it with other summer vegetables, such as corn or zucchini.


    • 7 cups water, divided
    • 2 cups diced green beans (1/2 inch)
    • 1 1/2 cups (fresh or frozen) baby lima beans
    • 1 cup diced fennel bulb (1/2 inch)
    • 1 cup diced green tomato or tomatillo (1/2 inch)
    • 1 cup diced red bell pepper (1/2 inch)
    • 1/2 cup finely diced sweet white onion
    • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
    • 3 cups distilled white vinegar
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh ginger
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seed
    • 3/4 teaspoon celery seed
    • 3/4 teaspoon mustard seed
    • 3/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
    • 5 cloves garlic, cut in half


  1. To prepare vegetables: Place a large bowl filled with ice water next to the stove. Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan; add green beans and lima beans and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and plunge the beans into the ice water to stop cooking. When they are cool, drain and return to the bowl. Add fennel, green tomato (or tomatillo), bell pepper and onion to the bowl. Dissolve salt in the remaining 4 cups of water, then pour over the vegetables. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next day, drain the vegetables and discard the brine.
  3. To prepare Ginger Liquor: Combine vinegar and sugar in a large pot. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add ginger and simmer for 5 minutes. Add fennel seed, celery seed, mustard seed and peppercorns and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add garlic. Let rest for 5 minutes, then drain through a fine sieve into a bowl.
  4. Pour the infused liquid back into the pot and add the vegetables. Simmer gently, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables from the liquid to a container (or containers) with a tight-fitting lid, such as a canning jar. Pour the liquid over the vegetables and let stand at room temperature until cool. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 month.


  • Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate for up to 1 month.

    Per 1/4 cup: 45 calories; 0 g fat ( 0 g sat , 0 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrates; 5 g added sugars; 1 g protein; 2 g fiber; 66 mg sodium; 124 mg potassium.

    Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (22% daily value)

    Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

    Exchanges: 1/2 vegetable, 1/2 other carbohydrate

  • Recipe and Photo courtesy of:

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