Spicy Pickled Bell Peppers are easy to make. They make a nice side-dish, or stand-alone snack, and are great sliced on burgers or sandwiches.
I often have a jar of commercially pickled Banana Peppers in my fridge as I like to have them on hand to add to Sandwiches, Burgers, Nachos, and many other things where a little spicy tang is needed. Still, while the commercial brands are nice to have, I also like making my own stuff. Unfortunately, most mild peppers available in supermarkets are green (Jalapeño, or Anaheim, for example), and they tend to turn an unattractive greyish color after they have been pickling for a while, while the red types available are mostly WAY too hot for my needs. Anyway, I hit upon the idea of using tiny red and orange bell peppers (which are increasingly common these days), and adding smaller, very hot chillies to the pickling mix to provide the right ‘bite’.
How to Make Spicy Pickled Bell Peppers
You first need to prepare your peppers by trimming them to remove the stems and ‘innards’, along with the tip at the other end (so as to get a ‘flow’ of the pickling medium throughout). You can, if you like, just slice off the stem end, but I like to use the slightly more ‘fiddly’ approach of carving around the stem and extracting the seeds and some of the pith through the opening.
Now, sprinkle your salt over the peppers, getting a little inside. You don’t need a lot, about 1 Tbsp. sufficed for this small batch. Let the peppers sit for a bit before proceeding
Here are the hot chillies I am using. They are Thai chillies and quite fiery. You can chop them, if you like, or do as I have done and just cut away the tops.
Toast the dry spices in a pan over a moderately high flame. Keep everything moving to avoid burning, and when the aroma rises and some seeds are started to brown, you are done.
Add the sugar, hot chillies and sugar. Bring to a boil for a minute or so then remove the pan from the heat and let the contents cool.
Finally, put your peppers in a suitable container and pour over the pickling mix. You will want to let this pickle for about 30 days or so and then store in the refrigerator after opening.
Your Recipe Card:
Spicy Pickled Bell Peppers
- 1 lb small red orange, or yellow Bell Peppers (or a mix thereof);
- 5 cups White Vinegar;
- 1 Tbsp. Sugar or more to taste;
- 2 Tbsp. Black Peppercorns;
- 1 Tbsp. each of Coriander and Fennel Seeds;
- Fresh Red Chillies (type and amount to suit your taste;
- Pickling or other Non-iodized Salt.
- Trim the stems, tops, and tips from the Bell Peppers and extract the seeds and as much of the pith as possible.
- Sprinkle salt over the Peppers, making sure to sprinkle some inside, and let them rest for at least a half-hour.
- Trim away the tops of the Hot Chilies and either coarsely chop, or leave whole as you prefer.
- Add the dry spices to a pan over moderately high heat and toast them until the aroma rises.
- Add the sugar, hot chillies and sugar, bring it all to a boil for a minute or so, then remove the pan from the heat and let the contents cool.
- Put your peppers in a suitable container and pour over the pickling mix.
- Cap and let sit for about 30 days to pickle nicely.