This Tiny Jar of Pickled Serranos is offered up as proof that quick pickling is easy, flexible, and willing to accommodate what you have in the kitchen.
I had a bunch of Serrano chiles in the fridge and didn’t think I would be able to use all of them — a few minutes later they looked like this:
So that was about 10 minutes worth of work, and in exchange you’ll get a delicious jar of pickled chiles that you can munch on for the next few weeks — sound like a good deal?
How To Quick Pickle Anything
Even if the contents of the jar change, the technique remains the same, so once you’ve added quick pickling to your repertoire you can use it on just about anything, and I have! Here are some examples:
I’ve made that Pickled Jalapenos and Carrots recipe dozens of times and it’s a good reference if you ever want to make a bigger batch.
These Pickled Serranos use similar ingredients as the Pickled Jalapenos recipe, but everything is whittled down to fit one of these small Mason jars.
These are 8 oz. jars and I usually keep a few around for salad dressings and the like — you’ll need about 7-8 Serrano chiles to fill the jar.
For reference, the more common pint-sized Mason jars are 16 oz.
Keep in mind that Serranos are hotter than Jalapenos so if you’re new to them start with small bites! I typically slice them quite thin as you only need a sliver to get that pickled, fiery flavor. Serranos vs. Jalapenos: What’s the Difference?
I also used Mexican oregano, cumin seeds, and black peppercorns for this recipe, but don’t sweat it too much if you don’t have this exact combo on hand.
I usually give the spices a quick crush in the molcajete, but this is optional as well — you could just as easily use powdered spices and get an equally good result.
You’ll also need a couple tablespoons of onion and a roughly chopped garlic clove.
Start by sweating the onion and garlic in some oil over medium heat.
Once the onion is softened we’ll add the sliced Serranos, the spices, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Note that Kosher, sea, or pickling salts are most commonly used for pickling vegetables. Iodized salt isn’t recommended as additives can affect the brine.
Give this a quick saute and then add:
1/3 white vinegar
1/3 cup water
Bring to a boil and then grab your tiny jar!
I used a small ladle to fill the jar, but some type of funnel would probably be easier.
You should have enough brine to completely submerge all of the sliced Serranos. If by chance you don’t then feel free to top it off with a bit of water.
Let this sit on the counter to cool for a bit.
You can always take a bite now to get a sneak preview of their flavor, but they’ll taste best after pickling overnight in the fridge.
The acidic crunch of these Pickled Serranos is a great final touch for a wide range of dishes. You can use them anywhere you would use Pickled Jalapenos, just remember that they’re a bit more fiery!
Here are some recipes where I’ve used them in the past:
Okay let me know if you have any questions about these Pickled Serranos, or about quick pickling in general. It’s such an easy technique and you get weeks worth of pickled munchers in return. Awesome.
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Tiny Jar of Pickled Serranos
- 7-8 Serrano chiles
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic
- pinch of Mexican oregano (approx. 1/4 teaspoon)
- pinch of cumin seeds (approx. 1/8 teaspoon)
- 3-4 black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- olive oil
- Give the serranos a good rinse and cut into thin slices, discarding the stems. Finely chop a couple tablespoons of onion (I used white onion). Peel and roughly chop a single garlic clove.
- Saute the onion and garlic in some oil over medium heat until softened. Add the sliced serranos along with the spices: Mexican oregano, cumin, black pepper, and salt.
- Briefly saute and then add 1/3 cup white vinegar and 1/3 cup water. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat.
- Add the serranos and brine to an 8 oz. jar. Let cool on the counter for a bit, and then seal and store in the fridge. You can taste them directly after making them, but they won't be fully pickled until the following day.
- Store in the fridge where they keep for about a month. (Note: instructions not meant for long term canning.)
Our latest recipe is a batch of these Chicken Tinga Enchiladas.