While you may find versions of this pickled pepper throughout the Caribbean, I just love how we have slight nuances in the way we treat scotch bonnet peppers (pepper sauce) from island to island. That said, this is uniquely Jamaican and yet I found different versions of this spicy goodness at every home and restaurant I visited from Montego Bay, to Negril, To Ochie to Kingston.
10 – 15 scotch bonnet peppers (sliced)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pimento berries (allspice)
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 large onion (sliced)
1 Chayote (ChoCho / Christophene)
1 large carrot (sliced thin)
Vinegar – white (about 2-3 cups)
4 slices of ginger (sliced)
Important! Be sure to wear gloves when handling such hot peppers and wash your hands immediately after with soap and water.
Wash the peppers and slice them thinly. I included the seeds from the peppers as I personally like pickled peppers as hot and spicy as I can get it. Peel and core the Chayote and cut into thin strips like fries. You may also leave on the green skin if you wish, I just find that it absorbs sort of brine better with the skin off.
Peel the carrot and slice into thin wheels and do the same for the onion, but slice a bit thicker. Remember you can use any white onion instead of a red onion… if that’s all you have.
You’ll notice that I used slices of ginger, that is just my way.. as I do like the flavor you get from that fresh ginger. Basically all you have to do now is to layer in the ingredients (push down to tuck in) into a clean glass jar… top with the sugar and salt, then pour on the vinegar. As you pour the vinegar it will dilute the sugar and salt.
Give it a few days to cure and for the flavors to blend together nicely, then enjoy. This will last for weeks in a cool shaded space on your kitchen counter, as the vinegar will act as a preservative. The vibrant colors will fade, but that is normal as time goes on. NOTE: I don’t like warming my vinegar, but you will see some people do so (warm, not boil).