For as long as I can remember, my mother has kept a jar of these chillies in her fridge.
Unlike pickles designed for longer term storage, these aren’t heated in the pickling brine, but rather steeped in a cold vinegar-sugar-salt solution which diffuses the heat slightly and imbues the chopped chillies with a tangy edge. We’ve always stored them in the fridge, and they’re usually eaten quite quickly, so I really can’t tell you how long they keep for.
Because of the way they’re made, the chillies retain their crunch. It’s the perfect accompaniment to Chinese dishes – a small bowl of these always graced the dinner table when I was growing up.
Chillies grow reasonably well in our garden, and this week I harvested a bowl of Jalapeños, several Serrano chillies, a few Cayennes, and the last of our mild Tasty Bites…
When I asked Mum for her recipe, she didn’t give me quantities for the pickling brine, but told me to make it “to taste”. Here are the amounts I used for this batch…
- hot chillies (as seen in the photo above)
- 2 cups vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
- 3 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 3 teaspoons sugar
1. In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, salt and sugar and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
2. Wash the chillies and slice then into rings (I wore latex gloves for this process). Remove the seeds if preferred. Tip the chopped chillies into a large bowl and pour boiling water over them. Stir for about 10 seconds before draining into a colander.
3. Spoon the chillies into sterilised jars, and carefully pour over the cooled vinegar solution. Store the jars in the fridge. This quantity of chillies filled two 300ml jars.
I’m hoping to make more of these when the Bishop’s Crown chillies start fruiting!