The Ultimate Chow Chow Recipe

13.12.16 | Recipe by Renz
The perfect topping for your Christmas ham, this chow chow is the ideal pairing.

Pickle vegetables in a mustard base is the perfect holiday condiment

There are some things that just need to be in your house at Christmas time. I guess we would call them Christmas staples? Without them, it wasn't really Christmas.

Chow chow is one of those staples.

Is it possible to eat ham without chow chow?

This is a must-have on the breakfast table once the ham is there.

Ham sandwiches on Christmas morning needed to have fresh bread, fresh ham and a dollop of chow chow on it. Without it, it just wouldn't be right.

This recipe for making Trinidad chow chow uses everyday vegetables that have been brined and then simmered in a mustard base giving you that perfect kick to top a variety of options.
Do you have Christmas staples in your house? Or country?

We can't have Christmas without black cake, sorrel, ponche ah creme, pastelles (or a version), fresh bread, ham, and paime.

How could I forget ginger beer and breadbread. What a list!!

I love being able to make my own chow chow so I'm able to use vegetables I love to eat, versus being stuck with the store brand of whatever they choose to throw in.

What is Chow Chow?

Chow chow is pickled vegetables in a sauce. Why is it called chow chow I am not sure? I actually tried to research it but did not find anything.

The process for this relish is to brine your vegetables then simmer them down in a base of flavor.

Though I keep mentioning ham, because it is the popular meat of choice in Trinidad and Tobago at the time, this can easily be used on sandwiches, with fried meats, on hot dogs (my favorite).

I no longer eat ham so I've had to find alternatives to continue enjoying this deliciousness.

While you are here check out some of my other Kitchen Condiments:

The tanginess of this one a nice savory meat dish really is exciting. And isn't the color gorgeous?

I'm thinking of making some chicken "ham" just so that I can try to relive the joy of having ham and chow chow.. haha

Is chow chow a common thing for Christmas in your household? What are your holiday customs as it relates to food?

yield: Makesprint recipe

The Ultimate Chow Chow Recipe

This is the ultimate Caribbean Christmas condiment that is easily paired with a slice of ham. This pickle/relish can easily be used on meats for that added kick.
prep time: 1 hour and 25 MINScook time: 30 MINStotal time: 1 hours and 55 mins


  • 2 large sweet peppers (one red, one green) chopped
  • 1 cup chopped cauliflower
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion (or regular onion)
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 10 cloves
  • 8 pimento peppers, chopped (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons turmeric powder
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Water
  • 1 tablespoon salt


  1. Make sure that all vegetables are cut to small, uniform sizes
  2. Cover with water and add salt and mix. Leave to sit in the brine for at least an hour (or overnight)
  3. In a deep pot add sugar, turmeric, cloves, vinegar, mustard, and cornstarch
  4. Whisk the mixture till it starts to boil, trying to get rid of any lumps that may have formed
  5. Lower stove to a simmer for about 10 minutes as you continue to whisk
  6. Strain mixture to get rid of cloves
  7. Add back to pot on medium heat and drain vegetables of water used for brine
  8. Add vegetables to mustard liquid and incorporate
  9. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer as mixture thickens up while randomly giving it a stir.
  10. Once at a nice relish texture, remove from heat and store in an airtight, sterile jar
Created using The Recipes Generator

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