Pickle Your Chillies


Thanks to my sister-in-law I was reminded how great a pickled chilli can be. I always knew, just forgot. I think pickling them seems to take a bit of the heat out and replace it with a spicy vinegar combination depending what you put in. My recipe is below but you may need to adjust it depending on the size of your jar. Mine took 10 medium size chillies. It’s important that the jar is full up.


  • 10 medium red chillies
  • 125ml cider vinegar
  • 125ml just boiled water
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp juniper berries
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsps castor sugar
  • 2 tsps sea salt

What to do

  1. Wipe the chillies and using a pin pierce each one 10 times
  2. Heat (not boil) the vinegar, sugar, salt, juniper berries, peppercorns and bay leaves until the salt and sugar dissolve.
  3. Pack the chillies into a jar so they can’t float when the liquid is added.
  4. While still hot pour the vinegar mixture over chillies.
  5. Top up with just boiled water. Try and keep the quantities of vinegar/water 50/50 if you have to top up.
  6. Put the lid on and as it cools it should form a seal.
  7. Turn them every now and then to make sure they are always covered.
  8. Eat after a week and keep them in the fridge once opened.

Tips / Pointers

  • If the chillies keep floating wedge them with sticks of celery or carrot. They are nice pickled too.
  • Use a white wine or rice wine vinegar but avoid darker malts, sherry or red wine ones.
  • Use other seeds like coriander, fennel or mustard.
  • I use the same principle for pieces of chunky vegetables like carrot, onion, celery and fennel. Once done you can use them after a day but need to be eaten within a week or so.

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