CHOW CHOW North American Pickled Relish

What is Chow Chow Relish?

Simply put, chow chow is a relish made using late summer produce. Green tomatoes were the inspiration for this chow chow, so they are the centerpiece for the recipe. The flavor definitely skews on the side of tangy versus sweet in order to keep that fresh garden taste. 

There’s also lots of onion, sweet bell pepper, and not many spices—my family has a traditionally mid-South “salt and pepper” only cooking palate. This recipe keeps true to those roots by accentuating with celery and mustard and no hot peppers. 


  • 12 ½ pounds green tomatoes, chopped
  • 8 large onions, chopped,
  • 10 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 6 chopped green chile peppers
  • 1 quart distilled white vinegar
  • ½ cup prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves


  1. Combine tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and salt in a large bowl. Let stand overnight.
  2. Drain the mixture and add hot chile peppers, vinegar, sugar, and horseradish.
  3. Wrap the cinnamon, allspice, and cloves in a cheesecloth or porous bag, and add to the mixture.
  4. Boil the mixture for 15 minutes, or until tender.
  5. Pack tightly in sterilized jars and seal.
  6. Store the jars in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks to allow the flavors to mingle. Store unopened for up to a year. Refrigerate after opening.

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