More of a method than a recipe, this way of pickling is perfect when you want to spice up your meal in a pinch! And what's great is the chilis or any quick-pickled vegetables will become more nuanced and delicious as the days pass.
This formula gives you a pickling liquid that has a nice balance of sweet and sour. For less or more of either, simply adjust the sugar amount.
- 4-8 whole jalapeños
- 2-6 peeled garlic cloves, optional
- 2 tablespoons each whole mustard seed, whole fennel seed, peppercorns, or allspice berries, optional
- 1½ cups of water
- 1½ cups of white, white wine, rice, or apple cider vinegar
- 1½ cups of granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
- Cut or slice the jalapeños (or other vegetables) to your liking. Pepper slices that are about a quarter of an inch thick work well for quick pickling.
- For a milder pickled jalapeño, boil the peppers for two minutes. Drain and place in your jars or bowl.
- If you plan to store the jalapeños or vegetables in jars, place as many whole jalapeños or slices as will snugly fit in each one. Three to four average-size whole jalapeños should fit in one pint-size mason jar. If you are slicing your chilis, you may need fewer jars. Or you can place the jalapeños in a heat-proof bowl.
- Evenly distribute any peeled, whole garlic cloves or whole spices to the jars or add them to the bowl.
- In a medium pot, bring the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt just to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.
- Pour the warm pickling solution into the jars or in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, or screw the lids onto the jars.
- Cool the pickled vegetables to room temperature. Then serve, or store them in the refrigerator for one to two weeks.
You can use any heat-proof jar or container you have on hand if you are not planning to preserve the pickled vegetables. Or more simply for pickles being served the same day, use a mixing bowl as your marinating vessel.
Pickling whole chilis is a simple and quick way to add flavor. But when pickling whole jalapeños, the chilis need a few days soaking in the liquid to soften and deepen in flavor. For a batch of pickled jalapeños that is ready to enjoy the same day, slice your peppers into thin strips or rounds.
On Serving & Storing
The pickled jalapeños can be served within a few hours (once cooled), but if you let them linger in the refrigerator they'll get tastier with time. If you plan to preserve your pickled jalapeños, be sure to follow proper canning protocol to ensure your batches are safe for consumption and don't harbor clostridium botulinum bacteria that causes botulism. As part of my food safety training, I studied botulism in-depth. It's a terrifying disease that comes on quickly. And a few jars of pickles are not worth the risk.
On Nutrition Information
The Nutrition Information below is based on the recipe as written, using 12 whole jalapeños. It also assumes you are consuming one-twelfth of the pickling liquid with each pepper. So unless you drink the brine, you will consume less sugar and salt than is listed.
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