Sassy Lemon, a Fiery Red Pickle

You’re still with me the peppers!

If you read the past few days you know I came into 15 pounds of assorted hot peppers.  I found something for them all to do.  The final-preserving round was a colorful tray of long, thin hot peppers drying on a tray.  All was fine in the world of pepper processing.

But then… a few days later the beginning-to-dry peppers were calling to me to do something more with them. A ferment. A pickle. Something sassy.

Re-enter Linda Ziedrich’s The Joy of Pickling (again!):

(Not Green) Chile Pickle

yield: about 1 pint

Disclaimer: This is the recipe I followed, but the result is a very loose interpretation.  I call it Sassy Lemon, a Fiery Red Pickle.

  • ½ pound small hot green peppers, sliced thin (I used a random combination of mostly red and orange thin peppers)
  • 2 TBSP pickling salt
  • 1 pint water
  • ¼ cup whole black mustard seeds, ground(I couldn’t find mine at finishing time so skipped it. I don’t like mustard anyhow so don’t feel I’m missing out)
  • one 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced (I used 1 ½- inch piece)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 TBSP lime juice
  • 2 TBSP mustard oil or other vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
  • I finely chopped a preserved lemon on a whim at the end and added it
  1. Put the peppers and 1 TBSP salt in a bowl and mix. Pack peppers into a quart jar. 

    fermenting hot peppers at grow and resist

    They do look a bit too dry...

  2. Dissolve remaining salt in the water. Push a quart size freezer bag into the top of the jar and add enough brine to weight the peppers and seal out air. Seal bag.  Let stand at room temperature. 
    fermenting hot peppers at grow and resist

    In case the brine-in-a-bag thing sounded confusing, here is a visual


  3. Start tasting the peppers after 3 weeks. When they are as sour as you would like, transfer them to a bowl and mix in remaining ingredients.
  4. Repack mixture into a pint jar and store in the fridge.

The recipe did not go as planned because I had already started drying peppers a few days earlier and they were already getting wrinkled and a bit dry. Therefore lacking a lot of moisture needed.  There was also a somewhat questionable looking area in the mix that I wasn’t sure if was a product of fermentation or spoilage.   Kate was in town and suggested adding more salt.  Great suggestion!  More salt in!  It did release some more fluids, but after a few days I decided to remove the bag again and add a bit more water and replace the bag.  The spot I was concerned about disappeared so I decided it was likely just a fermentation thing.

I also didn’t taste as I went along because, seriously, the peppers I used were insanely hot. I just trusted  the 3 weeks mentioned and went with that.   I decided to run the mixture (including the random preserved lemon) through a round in the food processor before placing it in the jar.


fermented hot peppers at grow and resist

In no way should you eat a spoonful like this or you might spontaneously combust. Just a friendly warning.


Verdict: Oh yum. Oh me, oh my. I can’t wait to use this.  It is packed with flavor and I really think the lemon added another layer of interest to round out the intense heat.
This entry was posted in Kitchen and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Sassy Lemon, a Fiery Red Pickle

  1. Julia says:

    That’s beautiful, but I’m afraid I would not touch that.

  2. Mustard says:

    That is mouthwatering. My mom used to top off the pickles with oil, it stops contact with air. If you think you’ll get that problem again, you can try it.

    • Good idea- did she do that while they were fermenting or after? Or, I guess I should ask if they were fermented? When she was done using some did she need to add more oil to re-cover or was there enough oil there to do it by itself?

  3. angela says:

    i am hot pepper challenged, but those are so gorgeous! i’m tempted to make some for gifts just so i can enjoy their beautiful colors!

  4. Pingback: My Own Can Jam Round Up: Chili Peppers | Grow & Resist

  5. Pingback: Charcuterie: (Salt Curing, the Apprentice Challenge) Bacon | Grow & Resist

  6. Pingback: Spice Rack: Spicy Roasted Garlic-Preserved Lemon Pasta with Chickpeas | Grow & Resist

  7. Sarah says:

    This is a couple of years old, so i’m not sure i will get a reply, but i’m trying this now and just wondering about the lack of brine in the jar itself to cover the peppers. I’m looking around online, and it seems that most recipes use a salt brine solution, rather than just the salt. I know I’ve seen saurkraut recipes before that just use the natural liquid that comes out from salt, so I’m assuming this is the same thing. I’m going to try it your way and see what happens, its just that this is my first time fermenting so i’m a little bit nervous!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s