pickled serrano and jalapeño peppers

by Heguiberto on June 8, 2009

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The week-end before the annual Paso Robles wine festival, I went shopping in the Mission District of San Francisco for stuff for the week. We always go to these hole-in-the-wall markets that have a lot of stuff for Mexican cooking. I ended up bringing home a whole bunch of fresh serrano and jalapeño peppers. Really it was a mis-communication: both Billy and I picked up some of the peppers. We use a lot of fresh hot chili peppers in our cooking, but not dozens in a few days. Needless to say, with less than a week before going away, we had way more than we needed. It takes so much energy to produce and bring food to the table that I simply cannot throw food away. It’s just sacrilege to me! I needed to do something with those peppers fast before they went bad.

escabeche or pickled spicy peppers

escabeche or pickled spicy peppers

Looking at the slightly shriveled peppers in the fridge, I thought that pickling them would be a good idea. If you have ever been to San Francisco taquerias you know what I mean. You can’t have your burrito without a couple of those hot vinegary mini torpedoes. These turned out a little spicier than I had planned; a bit more than when you get them canned. I love them though, and I can’t get enough. If you want to cut down on the heat, cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds and some of the ribs.

Pickled Serrano and Jalapeño Peppers


½ lb. fresh jalapeño and/or serrano peppers
3 tbs. olive oil
2 carrot cut into ¼ inch chunks
salt to taste
1 bay leaf
1 garlic bulb, peeled
1 medium onion chopped coarsely
1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
2 cups white wine vinegar
½ tbs. sugar


Heat oil in a pan. Add onions and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add peppers, garlic, carrot, salt, bay leaf and oregano. Continue sautéing until onion turns soft and translucent.
Add vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil then reduce temperature and simmer on low heat for approximately 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate.

Serve as a condiment with rice and beans, tacos, vegi burgers or any Mexican dish.

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Kirk Di Santi June 8, 2009 at 8:15 am

This sounds very spicy! I think that I’d like it.

Maria Cristina Euripedes Sahlman June 8, 2009 at 11:52 am

Oi Heguiberto I love cooking and experimenting sometimes. This concoction of peepers sounds good.
Maybe one day when i have a lot of them available. You never know.

Heguiberto June 8, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Hi Cristina,
I am glad you will try it sometime. Keep coming back for more fresh news about food, wine and life here in the Bay Area.

Jasmine Turner June 8, 2009 at 10:04 pm

Oh my goodness, those serrano peppers are really spicy so be careful. Prof. T. hurt his tummy bad by eating one of those babies!

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