Chow Chow

This hot, spicy relish has been a fixture on Southern tables since at least the 1860s. Serve it with a bowl of pintos, a cake of corn bread and some sweet onion!

5 red bell peppers, diced
2 large green tomatoes, diced
2 large sweet onions, diced
1 small head cabbage, diced
1/4 cup pickling salt
3 cups sugar
2 cups white vinegar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seeds

Place vegetables in a 6- to 8-quart Dutch oven with lid. Sprinkle salt evenly over vegetables, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Place vegetables in colander, rinse and drain; return mixture to Dutch oven and sdd remaining ingredients.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.

Using a sterilized ladle and canning funnel, pack hot chow chow into hot, sterilized half-pint jars, filling to 1/2 inch from top. Remove air bubbles and wipe jar rims with clean, dry, lint-free cloth. Cover immediately with metal lids, and screw on bands.

Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Yield 5 1/2 pints.

If you like this recipe, I think you’ll really enjoy this cookbook:


4 Comments so far »

  1. Lee mitchell said

    May 28 2009 @ 8:02 pm

    Hello Chef Rick and your fans of southern cooking. I was looking for a recipe for spicy cha-cha and came across your chow-chow recipe. My parents are from Kingstree,SC. The one my moms taught me how to make is quite different from yours. It calls for cabbage chopped, hot red-peppers, jalapenos, green peppers, and it uses cider vinegar. We use this cha-cha relish exclusively for collard greens. But I am gonna try the chow-chow recipe out, thanks & GOD bless you.

  2. margaret said

    August 28 2009 @ 4:23 pm

    from Ca I look forward to using your recipe for chow-chow, I will be using Granny smith Tomatoes,and peppers from my garden. What else could chow chow be served with?

  3. AC said

    May 18 2010 @ 2:40 pm

    Hey man, great recipe. here in Pa. they don’t know nothing about this little taste of heaven. tried your recipe- came out perfect ! trying my own version now with the addition of 12 cloves of garlic and 12 jalapenos !!!

  4. AC said

    May 18 2010 @ 2:51 pm

    does anyone have a recipe for something they call hash in low country bbq joints ? i would kill for a supply of this stuff up here in yankee land.

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