Mexican pickled chiles are prepared with apple cider vinegar along with a variety of herbs such as thyme, marjoram, oregano and bay leaves. They are served on tortas and steamed street tacos (tacos de canasta literally translated to as basket tacos) as well as in cantinas to snack on alongside a cold beer. The chile that is most commonly used is the jalapeño, however depending on where you are in México el chile guero (banana peppers) or chile manzano may also be used. Pickled chiles are frequently made with sliced carrots and in many central Mexican states a variety of vegetables may be added such as cauliflower, potatoes, cactus, mushrooms, chayote and/or Mexican zucchini. Because of the vinegar, the chiles and vegetables can last a very long time when stored in the fridge and they keep even longer if canned.
This recipe makes about 2 liters including the liquid, chiles and vegetables. It can be a lot for one person, however as I mentioned earlier these chiles last a long time. Nevertheless, if you want to make a smaller batch simply divide the ingredients in half.
You do not have to follow this recipe exactly, in fact I recommend playing around a bit with the vegetables. If you don’t have access to Mexican zucchinis, for example you can you cauliflower, potatoes or mushrooms.
At home I eat my pickled jalapeños and vegetables with eggs and tortillas or I just eat them plain as a snack.
- 4 cups of water
- 2 cups of apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup of olive oil or vegetable oil
- 5 jalapeños sliced and with the stems removed
- 2 medium sized carrots, peeled, cut into ½ centimeter slices and boiled for 8 minutes
- 2 Mexican zucchinis (calabacitas) sliced and cut into halves (optional)
- 1 medium sized onion sliced
- 5 cloves of garlic peeled
- 8 bay leaves
- ½ tablespoon oregano
- 2-3 stems of fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon of dried thyme
- 2-3 stems of fresh marjoram or 1 tablespoon of dried marjoram
- Whole black pepper
Put the water, vinegar, oil, onions, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper in a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Add the vegetables and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let sit over night. They can be canned or stored in a plastic container.