Vietnamese Pickled Red Chili Peppers With Garlic (Ớt Ngâm Giấm Tỏi)
Here is a quick and simple recipe for pickled chili peppers. This recipe doesn’t require any cooking. All you need is a microwave.
I love fresh chilies and insist on having one or two with my food. But I’m a wimp and will often regret and ugly cry after a bite.
Pickled chilies are perfect because some of the heat is lost during the pickling process.
The chili peppers I’m using here are bird’s eye chili peppers, also known as Thai chili peppers. They are thin, small and pointy. When unripe, they are green which can still be eaten. When they mature, they gradually turn from green to yellow, to orange, then finally red.
You can find both green and red chili peppers at your local Asian grocery store. They are often sold in large packets, so I can never use them all up at once. I would set aside some in the fridge and preserve the rest in the freezer.
This year, I didn’t need to buy any. My garden is booming with an abundance of gorgeous looking chili peppers. Instead of freezing my newest batch, another alternative to preserve them is to pickle them.
Pickled chili peppers are used as a side condiment to many soups, noodles and stir-fries. You will often find Asian restaurants have a jar of pickled chili peppers readily available at the table for easy customizations. They usually have pickled chilies in little glass jars, alongside small bottles of soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar and sriracha sauce.
I always add a few pickled chilies no matter what I’m eating. Pickled chili peppers deliver a milder version of heat, along with a sweet and sour note that complements many dishes well.
Vietnamese Pickled Red Chili Peppers With Garlic (Ot Ngam Giam Toi)
Makes about 1 cup
- 100 grams red chili peppers
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 3/4 cup vinegar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Peel the garlic. Remove stems from chili peppers. Wash, rinse and dry garlic and chili peppers thoroughly. You can leave the chili peppers and garlic whole, slice thinly or blend in a food processor for a paste-like consistency. If you don't like it too spicy like I do, thinly slice the chili peppers so that you can shake out the excess seeds in a colander.
- Place chili peppers and garlic in a small jar with an airtight lid. Set aside.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine vinegar, sugar and salt. Heat on high for 30 seconds.
- Pour the vinegar mixture into the jar. The hot mixture will blanch the chilies, making it vibrant red. Allow the mixture to cool then seal the jar with a lid. Store in the fridge for at least one hour before use. This will last in the fridge for 4-6 months.