For anyone who grows chilli, pickling is a great a way to preserve a fruit laden tree. Mexicans make a lovely, fruity tasting pickle, usually with gentle notes from pineapple vinegar or cane sugar vinegar. This recipe, loaded with herbs and crunchy vegetables should be a welcome addition to any meal, be it Mexican or not.

1 litre





Skill level

Average: 3.1 (107 votes)


  • 300 g jalapeño chillies
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
  • 1 brown onion, sliced
  • 200 g carrots, sliced into 3mm rounds
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • ¼ bunch thyme
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp raw sugar
  • 400 ml white vinegar
  • 100 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 100 ml water

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Prepare the jalapeños by slicing a cross into the tip of each chilli about 2 cm deep to allow the pickling liquid to penetrate.

Warm the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the carrot, onion and garlic and cook gently for 5 minutes until the onions soften. Add the jalapeños and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 8–10 minutes until the jalapeños have softened a little. Remove from the heat.

While still warm, spoon the jalapeños, vegetables and aromatics into sterilised jars and pour over the pickling liquid. Allow to cool then refrigerate. Unopened, these chillies will last 6-8 months in a cool dark cupboard or up to a year in the fridge. 


Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Kristine Duran-Thiessen. Coloured glassware from Market Import; tiles from Di Lorenzo.