Fermented “Pickled” Jalapeños

Fermented Jalapenos

Tangy, salty, crunchy and spicy, these fermented jalapeño peppers make a delicious addition to your morning eggs, nachos, burrito or anything really. This recipe is so simple, I don’t even know if it can be called a recipe… submerge sliced peppers in a salt water brine, let it sit out for a week or so and before you know it you have preserved sour ‘pickled’ jalapeños ready to be enjoyed all winter long!

Hot peppers

Hot peppers

Sliced jalapeños

When the weather cools and the impending frost is nigh, taking care of winterizing garden chores starts to feel pressing. Cleaning up the garden brings to mind those heat loving crops. This is the time to pull off any remaining tomatoes, eggplants and peppers in order to prevent frost damage.

Sliced jalapeñoa

Sliced jalapeños in quart size jar

Sliced jalapeños with brine in quart sized jar

I brought in all the peppers from my jalapeño plants the other day. The mature red jalapeños were inevitably destined to become fermented hot sauce, while the green jalapeño peppers were mixed with a basic brine resulting in delicious fermented sour peppers (ie. pickled peppers minus the vinegar or canning).

Sliced jalapeños with brine in quart size jar

Jalapeños with brine weighed down with plastic brine filled bag in quart size jar

Fermented jalapeños

Fermented Jalapeños

Fermented “Pickled” Jalapeño Peppers

yields: 1 quart jar


  • about 1 lb. (454g) Jalapeños (or other hot peppers)
  • 3 Tbsp. Sea salt (non iodized)
  • 1 Litre Water (purified, or non-chlorinated tap water works fine)
  • 1 Quart jar (clean with hot soapy water)
  • Small plastic bag
  • Kitchen towel or cloth
  • Elastic band

Remove and discard stems, then slice peppers. Place in clean jar.

Prepare brine by combining water and salt, stir to dissolve salt and pour over peppers. Add some brine to your plastic bag and place in jar to weigh down peppers and keep them submerged in brine. Cover jar with a cloth and secure with an elastic band.

Let sit on your counter, out of direct sunlight, for 3-4 days. At this point taste a slice of pepper to see if it is sour to your liking. If not quite sour enough, weigh down peppers, cover and allow fermentation to continue for a few more days. Mine usually take 6-10 days, but fermentation time will vary depending on the ambient temperature.

When peppers are sufficiently sour, remove cloth and weight, then place lid on jar and transfer to fridge.

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