Jalepeños en Escabeche (Pickled)

These are those delicious pickled jalepeños and carrots you get at many good Mexican restaurants.  Jalepeños vary in spiciness from very mild to pretty darn hot. It is difficult to tell just by looking at them, but if you want to know what you are getting yourself in for, slice a tiny bit off the end of one of them so test for heat. This is a basic pickled pepper recipe, you can use Serranos, just cut the cooking time by five minutes. You can also add 1 cup of cauliflower florets. I have included instructions for processing in a hot water bath so you can store them for a longer time before you open them. You can also fresh pack them, that is just pack the hot peppers and vinegar into sterilized jars and seal. Let them stand out for a day or two, then store them in the fridge. If you do use the hot water bath, they keep well in the pantry for months, and once opened, 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator. If they last that long. You can get canning kits that include a large covered pot with a rack, jar lifter, wide-mouthed funnel, headroom measuring gauge and bubble remover for about $35. It is a great investment if you intend to do any amount of canning or preserving. 


They are a great condiment, a must for taco night, and have a tangy, hot taste. If you need a quick green jalepeño relish, you can put a couple of the pickled peppers, a few of the carrots and onions, a clove of the garlic, and a spoonful of the juice into your mini-prep and process for a few seconds. Hot Eddie just eats them right out of the jar.


Jalepeõs en Escabeche – Makes 4 pints. Prep time about 15 minutes. Cooking time 30 minutes including the water bath. Figure an hour start to finish.
12-16 fresh jalepenos
1 medium onion
4 carrots
16 whole garlic cloves, peeled
3 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
4 sprigs fresh Mexican oregano or 1/2 tsp dried
4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
4 bay leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1-2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds


For the Hot Water Bath
Canner  or large 14-20 quart stock pot deep enough for the jars to sit in with at least an inch of water covering them.
4 wide-mouthed pint Mason jars with lids and bands
Jar lifter or Tongs


Wash the peppers, leaving the stems on. Slash the tips with a sharp knife to let the vinegar into the pepper.


Scrub the carrots, peel the onions. Cut the carrots on the diagonal into thick slices. Thickly slice the onions and peel the garlic.


 Heat oil in a large deep pan over medium heat. Fry the peppers, onions, carrots and garlic, turning the peppers occasionally, for 5 minutes or so, until the onions clear and the peppers start to blister.


Add vinegar, water, oregano, thyme, bay, salt, sugar, peppercorns, and coriander seed and bring to the simmer. 


Simmer gently for 10 minutes till the peppers loose their vibrant green color and turn a deeper olive. Turn the peppers from time to time to cook evenly. Don’t overcook them. If you are using serranos, only cook for 5 minutes.


Sterilize 4 clean wide-mouth pint mason jars and new lids in boiling water for 5 minutes. Or you can run the jars through the dishwasher and use them right away. Keep the lids in a bowl of hot water until you use them.


Pack the jalepeños and vegetables into the jars. I usually put 4 large peppers and about a quarter of the vegetables into each jar along with a sprig of the herbs. Cover completely with the brine, leaving ¼ inch headroom. Wipe the rims of the jars, cover and seal with the bands. 


Put jars into the hot water bath, making sure to add enough water to cover the jars by an inch or more. Bring the water back to the simmer and process for 10 minutes.  Here I am using a big stockpot, but I have since acquired an official canner with a rack. It make the whole operation so much easier.


Remove jars, put on a dishtowel and let cool. Check seals by pressing down on the tops. If they don’t move, they are sealed. (If they do flex, you can either reprocess them or just put that jar in the fridge and eat them first.) Let them rest for a couple of days  to complete the pickling before opening.

One thought on “Jalepeños en Escabeche (Pickled)

  1. Pingback: Fresh Green and Red Chiles | Hot Eddie's

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