A pickled bell pepper recipe easy and tasty enough, you’ll make excuses to eat them.
Making your own condiments is extremely rewarding. Not only can you save a bit of money but homemade condiments allow you to add a bit of flair to food with a minimum of effort. These pickled bell peppers excel in that function in spades and what’s even better, they are super easy to make. After getting the recipe down, I began to look for all kinds of ways to use them.
The motivation behind creating these pickles was to replace the pepperoncini pepper which I cannot find anywhere in Japan. Pepperoncini and bell peppers are different varieties of the same plant. How close the taste is to the what it’s trying to replace, I don’t know but, they do go great on sandwiches, pizza, pasta and even plain. Let’s get into the recipe:
Here’s what you need:
Around a pound of bell peppers.
4 tablespoons of sugar
3 tablespoons of salt
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons black pepper corns
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)
2 bay leaves
1000ml Apple Cider Vinegar
One large glass container with lid
One large bowl and colander (a salad spinner works great here)
A serrated knife
A cutting board
A pot large enough to boil 2000ml of liquid (soup pot etc)
Let’s Get Started:
Assemble all of your ingredients. Place the peppers in the large bowl and wash and drain them. While the bell peppers are draining, dump the rest of the ingredients into your soup pot, cover and bring to a boil. While you’re waiting for the pickling mix to boil, cut up the bell peppers. With mine, I discard the tops and slice the rest into rings but you choose whatever shape you like. Deseeding is optional and I don’t bother. Place the chopped up bell peppers into the large glass container.
Once the pickling mix has started to boil, let it continue to boil, on medium, for five minutes. Towards the end of the five minutes, put the lid on the large glass container and run the container under hot water for a few seconds. This is to help prevent temperature shock when we dump in the pickling mix. At the end of the five minutes, remove the lid from the large glass container and dump in the pickling mix. Don’t worry if the liquid doesn’t completely cover the bell peppers, the peppers will shrink down. You can occasionally stir the mix if it looks like some are still not getting into the liquid. After about a day, you can start to use your peppers.
In regards to the spices, I’ve found that pickling is really flexible so there is a lot of room for playing around. Add other spices and see how it turns out. Cut back on one of the spices above and see how you like that. The 1:1 ratio of vinegar to water though is important as well as the acidity should you decide to play around with other vinegars. Rice wine vinegar for example, is not as acidic as apple cider vinegar.
The jar in the photos is for making umeshu, which is a homemade Japanese liquor. The capacity is three liters so if you have an Asian market, you might try to find one, but really any large jar will do. Also, the three liter capacity is part of the reason for the amount of vinegar and water in the recipe as well as the amount of peppers I use. Smaller jar? Reduce those ingredients.
Now I’ve got Pickled Bell Peppers What the Heck Should I do with Them:
Use em how you see fit. I’ve put mine in ham and grilled cheese sandwiches. I’ve also made a very simple pasta. Chop up your peppers—maybe half a cup—toss in some thinly sliced salami, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese and extra virgin olive oil to your pasta. Toss to coat and mix. Serve on a plate and garnish with parmesan cheese and a few rings on your pickled peppers. You can also use the pickling mix to add a splash of zing to salads or over steaks. Really the limit is your imagination.
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