These Mexican Pickled Carrot Sticks are the perfect antidote to a ho-hum day that's on the verge of passing by unnoticed.
They are surprisingly easy to make too, and for the next few weeks your fridge will be capable of supplying you with crispy, delicious jolts to the system any time you need it.
Mexican Pickled Carrots Recipe
Note that these are designed to be eaten on their own so they have slightly less concentrated heat and flavorings than our Taqueria Style Pickled Jalapenos and Carrots. Of course, after making a batch you might find yourself looking for excuses to use them in other dishes (salads?!!)
The other thing I want to mention is that these instructions aren't meant for long-term canning. These jars are designed to last for a few weeks in the fridge, but they might go quicker depending on how many ho-hum days you encounter.
Okay, here are the veggies we're working with:
To fill up two pint-sized glass jars, you'll need 4 larger carrots or 5-6 smaller ones. You'll also need 1/4 onion, 2 garlic cloves, and a single jalapeno.
Note that using a whole jalapeno puts some real kick in these sticks! If you want a milder version then you can use half or even a quarter of a jalapeno.
Start by cooking the roughly chopped onion and jalapeno in some oil over medium heat.
When tender, add 2 cloves minced garlic, some freshly cracked pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds.
Don't fret if you don't have cumin seeds on hand. You can omit them without losing too much as most of the flavor will be coming from the jalapenos, but I add them in when I have them.
Saute briefly and then add 2 teaspoons salt, 2 cups vinegar, and 1.5 cups water. Note that Kosher or sea salt are typically used for pickling, or even pickling salt. The additives in table salt will sometimes affect the brine so it isn't recommended.
Bring to a light boil and then set aside.
Take a quick measurement using your storage jar and try to cut the carrots approximately the same height as the jar (minus the neck). You'll be able to fit close to two carrots worth of sticks into each pint-sized jar.
Note that glass jars seem to be the storage container of choice for this vinegar based brine. Metallic containers are not recommended.
Fill the jars with the carrot sticks but be sure to leave a little space for the brine.
Pour the brine into each jar; you should have enough to fill each jar to the top. You can use a knife to push the jalapenos into the jars or just give them a good shake once sealed.
These will need a few hours in the fridge to get the full effect of the pickling brine. But sometimes a few hours seems like a long time right? I've eaten them 20 minutes after making and you'll get a deliciously mild preview of what they'll be like in a few hours.
These will last a few weeks in the fridge but most likely they'll be gone before then. Luckily it's easy to make another batch 🙂
Don't forget that using a whole jalapeno gives them some real zip! If your ho-hum day needs less zip then you can always make a milder version by using less jalapeno.
Either way, these Mexican Pickled Carrot Sticks want to be on standby in your fridge, waiting patiently to jumpstart your day. Give them a try!
Mexican Pickled Carrot Sticks
- 4-5 carrots
- 1 jalapeno
- 1/4 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 cups vinegar
- 1.5 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)
- 2 teaspoons salt (Kosher or sea salt)
- freshly cracked pepper
- olive oil
- Roughly chop the 1/4 onion and jalapeno. Saute them in a dollop of oil over medium heat for a few minutes, or until tender.
- Add 2 cloves minced garlic to the onion mixture, along with 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds and some freshly cracked pepper. Saute briefly.
- Add 2 cups vinegar, 1.5 cups water, and 2 teaspoons salt to the onion mixture. Stir well and bring to a light boil. Once boiling, turn off heat and set aside.
- Peel and chop up the carrot sticks. Use the jar (minus the neck) to take a quick measurement for their length.
- Fill two pint-sized glass jars with the carrot sticks, leaving some space for the brine. Add the brine to each jar, filling to the top with the liquid. Seal and give them a good shake.
- They'll need a few hours for the pickling brine to take full effect. Store in the fridge, sealed, where they'll last for a few weeks.
You can use similar techniques to make a batch of Pickled Onions.
Or a batch of Curtido.