Shocking Greens: Umami & spice make a sister's pickles shiok-ing nice

January 30, 2021

The red-hot family recipe for Shocking Greens was born 18 years ago, when two Malaysian sisters' masak-masak sessions took spicy inspiration from their mom's love for chillies. 

Experimenting with recipes to turn up the heat, they made a mix of pickled mustard greens, chillies and aromatic ingredients - the foundation for Shocking Greens' bottled condiments, newly launched in October 2020.

Shocking Greens is spearheaded by one of the two sisters, who has consistently prepared this recipe for herself and close friends.

The essential elements, with proportions perfected over two decades, comprise the salted vegetable base of pickled mustard greens, plus plenty of chillies, garlic, anchovy sauce, organic vegetable seasoning and Omega-3-rich canola oil, the latter two in line with more wholesome eating.

Shocking Greens come in two varieties: Natural Blusher is relatively tamer, while Tear Jerker is exactly what its name implies, more ferociously sweat-sparking and palate-burning. Each bottle costs RM15.90, with delivery available for the Klang Valley.

The condiments are pork-free and MSG-free, with no artificial preservatives, additives, colouring or flavouring - making them perfect for health-conscious households. They are best consumed within three weeks after opening, ideally refrigerated to maintain their vibrancy.

Consuming these condiments offers a one-two combo of flavours - the experience kicks off with an umami-deep tang, followed by the fierce punch of local chillies.

The Natural Blusher is a pleasurable pedas, tolerable and tantalising for most Malaysians who enjoy some extra scorch and sultriness in their food.

The Tear Jerker is a stealth explosion, unleashing its fury on your taste buds after the third bite, a fever dream that teeters close to a fiery-food challenge.

Texture-wise, the pickled mustard greens convey a bright, certified crunch that brings a welcome boost to many types of meals, like the Malaysian equivalent of kimchi.

We savoured its versatility with local staples like rice and noodles, but it would also be an appetising accompaniment to everything from burgers and tacos to hotpots, fried chicken to pizza and more, transforming a regular recipe to something special.

Many thanks to Shocking Greens for pleasantly surprising us with this mouthwatering sampling, making us a hot mess in the best way.