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Steamed Pork with Tianjin Preserved Vegetables

As promised, I am featuring another recipe with Tianjin preserved vegetables, this time a family favorite comfort food, steamed pork with Tianjin preserved vegetables. My Mom makes this all the time, and we have this for lunch, dinner, and even breakfast with plain porridge! You will be begging and maybe making more plain porridge when this dish is around. ♥

Steamed Pork with Tianjin Preserved Vegetables
Steamed Pork with Tianjin Preserved Vegetables

As I have mentioned in Bean Curd and Tianjin Preserved Vegetable Pork Soup, Tianjin preserved vegetables is made from preserved cabbage and come in round jars. Mine is just a simple red round plastic jar, but you might be lucky to find one sold in fancy ceramic jars. ♥

Steamed Pork with Tianjin Preserved Vegetables

5.0 from 3 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 40 mins

Serves: 4

Print Recipe


  • 300 gram ground pork
  • 2 tablespoon Tianjin preserved vegetables, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon tapioca/corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • scallion ribbons for garnish (optional)


  1. Prepare a steamer.
  2. Mix all ingredients together until well combined and put it in a steam proof bowl. You will definitely want to use a bowl to catch all the juicy liquid that will form during the steaming process.
  3. Steam for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from steamer, garnish with some scallion ribbons if you wish, and serve with steamed white rice, or plain porridge.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Christina Christina says:

    This is indeed a comfort dish! Made this to go a long with other dish for lunch. It was good! Simple and yet good! We called the preserved veg 'tong cai' and it goes so well with minced pork! Thanks for the recipe!

  • judy judy says:

    Thks for the recipe. Just to share some other version. 1) Steamed Minced pork with Radish (aka Cai Po 菜脯) 2) Steamed Minced pork with 扁鱼干 (bian yu gan) n chestnut 3) Steamed Minced pork with salted veg 4) Minced pork ball soup marinade with oyster sauce / mai you / hua tiao jiu / kikoman light soya / pepper

  • Star T Van Star T Van says:

    I can't get my hands on the preserved vegetables. If I want to omit them, do I need to adjust the amount of the other ingredients? Also, I tend to get this white scum on top of the pork whenever I steam it, is there a way to avoid that?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Yes, you can omit the preserved vegetables, but you may want to add about 1 teaspoon of salt to compensate for the lack of salt due to the lack of the preserved vegetables. As for the white scum, I think you can prevent this if you try steaming with a lower heat, for example, if you use medium-high, maybe try medium heat. Usually, the lower the heat, the lower the chance of the scum forming, but be sure that cook the meat long enough for it to cook thoroughly. I hope this helps.

  • Nerd Noise Radio Nerd Noise Radio says:

    I've got my first attempt at this in the steamer as we speak. We have about six or seven, maybe eight Asian markets here in Des Moines (in addition to several other kinds of ethnic markets) and I can get tong cai at most of them. I even have it in the fancy ceramic jar! :-)

    I scaled up the recipe to be based around 1lb of pork (rather than 300grams, or roughly 2/3lbs), and am steaming it in two halves, rather than all at once. But I made a few other amendments as well. For instance, I went a little heavier on sugar than the recipe called for, used dark soy sauce instead of light soy sauce (pearl river bridge brand), added a little jarred minced ginger, a little Aji no Moto MSG, and soaked the cabbage in the water for a minute or so with a good stir so that i more evenly distributed the salt/garlic of the tong cai. Basically I mixed the cabbage and water, let it sit for a minute or two, then added all the other ingredients except the pork, incorporated them fully before hand mixing in the pork. So, I should know pretty soon what I think of it. But I am very excited to try it! Hopefully soaking the cabbage to more evenly distribute the salt didn't defeat the whole purpose of the dish, like hopefully mostly non-salty, with little bursts of super salt wasn't the whole point. 😂

    Will report back with the results. :-)


  • Nerd Noise Radio Nerd Noise Radio says:

    UPDATE: Had a chance to try it (with the amendments), and it was...... WONDERFUL!!!

    I loved the flavors and the textures...and that broth!!!

    I will definitely be adding this one to the wheelhouse! Thank you very much!


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