How To Make Pickled Jalapeños
Super simple and no canning required, I make pickled jalapeños a few times a year for my husband who loves spicy food. I have rarely come across jars of pickled jalapeño rings in Argentina (and not at all since the foreign imports have become more restricted).
When I decided it was time to make my own jalapeños, I discovered (like so many things) how really easy it is. My first batch was made with jalapeño peppers from my garden, grown from seeds I brought from the US. I had huge batches of peppers that year, enough to even give them away.
About the time we started running low, I came across jalapeños at the local ‘mercado'. I had NEVER seen a jalapeño pepper in Argentina before (other than the ones in my garden) and was quite pleasantly surprised. I think the vendor was also pleasantly shocked when I bought a whole kilo.
Argentines are not at all big on spicy food… to put it mildly (haha). The average person might buy a few hot peppers to put in their pickled onions, for example, but it is a rare restaurant that serves food with any real spice.
Funnily enough, I later realized that the jalapeños at the market must have come from my own seeds. Over the years I have shared a great many US-sourced seeds with people here. One year, instead of risking the remainder of my seeds not being viable the next planting season, I gave a ton of seeds to a local friend whose friend actually grows food for a living.
The next season I bought gigantic heirloom tomatoes at the market, which looked exactly like one of the seed packets I had given away (though I hadn’t successfully grown any). And later there were jalapeños exactly like the ones from my garden. The markets here are so consistent that anything new jumps right out at you. Kind of neat to have that kind of influence in our little community, and to be able to reap the benefits directly.
For those you who are afraid of sugar, keep in mind that very, very little of it actually gets consumed... unless you were to drink the liquid! The vinegar, sugar and salt are natural preservatives and almost all of it will get thrown away when you are done eating the pickled peppers.
I serve these homemade pickled jalapeños with all types of Mexican meals, and they also come out most Sundays for Potato Nachos.
P.S. You can use any type of hot pepper here, they don't necessarily have to be jalepeños.
Recipe for Homemade Pickled Jalapeño Peppers
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups white vinegar (or alcohol/distilled vinegar)
6 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons salt
30+ large fresh jalapeño peppers, 1 kilo (or up to 3 cups when cut into rings)
Combine the water, vinegar, sugar and salt in a saucepan and slowly bring to a low boil. Stir occasionally to dissolve the sugar and salt.
Wash and cut the jalapeños into rings. I usually open a window and/or turn on the vent hood fan to help dissipate the sometimes intense heat odor which can becoming overpowering enough to make me cough.
As the liquid is just coming to a light boil, stir in the jalapeño rings. Let simmer lightly until no longer bright green (or red), approximately 5 minutes. Once the color of all of the rings the has changed to the duller tone, remove from the heat and let cool at least 10 minutes (or as long as you want).
Pack into jars. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to put the pepper rings in the jars first, and then cover with liquid. (A kitchen funnel can come in handy here, if you have one.) Pour any excess liquid down the drain.
I don’t know of an expiration date. These pickled jalapeños will keep stored in the refrigerator for a very long time.