Over the years I’ve shared countless Peppersauce Recipes with you, and while this pickled bird pepper is not technically a sauce, in the Caribbean it would fall into that category. Yea, I grew up knowing these peppers (while a bit smaller in size) Bird Pepper (since birds would feed on them in your garden and later on the droppings would sprout pepper tress at the start of the rainy season) and not Bird’s Eye Pepper. We also had a variety known as Kiskedee peppers, named after the bird which would also feed on them.
1/4 lb red Bird’s Eye peppers
1/4 lb green Bird’s Eye pepper
4-5 Scotch Bonnet peppers
3- 3 1/2 cups white vinegar
4-6 cloves garlic (smashed)
1 teaspoon white sugar
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
Notes! Wear gloves when handling such hot peppers and wash you hands immediately after with soap and water. I opted to add a punch of HEAT with the Scotch Bonnet peppers.. that is optional or use any variety of hot pepper you enjoy or can source. I did cut them open so the vinegar could get into direct contact with the insides to add that KICK I wanted. If doing this recipe gluten free, please go through the full list of ingredients to ensure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary requirements.
Place the vinegar (yes, plain white vinegar) in a pot on a medium flame and add the peppercorns. As soon as you start seeing tiny bubbles on the edges, turn off the stove and let it steep for 5-10 minutes. The goal is to get the peppercorns to release it’s flavors with the warm vinegar.
As mentioned in the video below, I like adding a bit EXTRA HOT peppers to further add a kick to this pickle, as I make full use of the liquid on my grilled meats. I used 3 Scotch Bonnet and one Fatali peppers from my garden. They were cut in half.
Those cut peppers were added first to my jar (sterilized) followed by the red and then the green peppers. You may add them in any or no order as you like. I just find that it looks more attractive in the jar in this way.
Top with the salt and sugar .. if you want you may add a few wedges of lemon should you want a subtle citrus flavor to the pickle.
Tuck in the smashed garlic.
All that’s left to do is to pour the vinegar into the bottle and try and cover everything with it. Add a bit more vinegar should you need to.
FYI the green Bird’s Eye Pepper will have a different flavor and heat level than the red ones, since the green color signifies that they are not fully mature. Seal the bottle, give it a shake and store in a cool dark spot in your kitchen. It will last a few months. For a longer shelf life, store in the fridge. When removing the peppers, use a clean/dry fork or spoon.
If you wanted to add some sliced carrots in here, that would work. Additionally you may add a few cloves and/or some Szechuan peppercorns to change up the flavor profile a bit.