Serve your vinegar-free Jamaican pickles, also called hot pepper pickle, over baked or fried tofu, with Jamaican Bammy, and Gluten-Free Festival, and use as a condiment for your sandwiches and burgers,
Hot pepper pickle was traditionally used to make escoveitch fish in Jamaica. My mom would make it quite often for family members who visited the island and were traveling back.
What Is Lacto-Fermentation?
The lacto-fermention method was used to preserve my vegetables. The lacto-fermented method uses only salt, water, and vegetables in the fermentation process, without the need for vinegar.
The vegetables are submerged in a prepared brine solution. The bad bacteria is killed by the brine solution, leaving the good bacteria (lactobacilli) to survive.
The good bacteria (lactobacilli) convert lactose in the vegetables to lactic acid, creating an acidic environment that preserves the vegetables.
Vinegar-Free Jamaican Pickle Ingredients
- Salt – I used Himalayan pink salt, sea salt, or Kosher salt. Don’t use iodized salt, because there are additives that can spoil your pickles.
- Water – I used purified water. Use only distilled or purified water, tap water might be contaminated.
- Lime – you can substitute with lemons.
- Carrot – fresh carrot added for crunch, sweetness, and color
- Chocho/Chayote– this squash is sold in Caribbean supermarkets and most major grocery stores.
- Onion – I love red onion for the color but any onion will do.
- Scotch Bonnet Pepper – has a distinct flavor, but you can also substitute with habanero, cayenne pepper or red bell pepper for those who cannot eat spicy foods.
- Pimento Berries – allspice berries added for flavor.
How To Prepare Vinegar-Free Jamaican Pickle?
- Make a brine – mix salt and 3 cups water in a one-quart glass jar, until salt dissolves.
- Add lime juice – squeeze lime or lemon juice, and add to the brine solution. Set aside.
- Add vegetables and spice to the quart jar – carrot, chocho, onion, pepper, and pimento, and leave an inch of space at the top.
- Add the brine – pour the brine over the vegetables, making sure to cover all the vegetables.
- Cover the jar – using a tight-fitting lid.
- Allow the jar to ferment – leave the jar on the counter away from direct sunlight for about 3-7 days. Open lid to release pressure daily, and taste the vegetables to make sure they taste good.
- Store in refrigerator – for up to 1 month, the fermenting will continue at a slower pace.
- Use clean fresh vegetables, and wash the vegetables.
- Cut them in whatever shape you choose.
- The brine should be slightly cloudy after 3 days.
- There should be bubbles on top.
- After you open the lid, you should hear gas releasing.
- The vegetables should develop a clean sour flavor. Discard if the smell is bad or mold develops in the brine.
- You get to control the amount of spicy flavor in your pickle. You can substitute Scotch Bonnet Pepper for fresh cayenne pepper or bell pepper slices if you want to omit the heat.
Other Jamaican Vegan Recipes To Make
- Vegan Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding
- Vegan Jerk Tofu
- Curried Chocho
- Jamaican Stew Peas And Spinners
- Jamaican Salt Fish Vegan
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- Energy: 23 kcal / 96 kJ
- Carbs: 5 g
- Preparation: 15 min
- Ready in: 15 min
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons sea salt, I used Himalayan Pink Salt
- 1 fresh lime juice
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut in strips or circles
- 1 medium chocho, or chayote
- 1 large onion, cut in slices
- 1-2 Scotch Bonnet pepper, (substitute with red bell pepper strips if you don't eat spicy foods)
- 20 allspice berries
- Mix salt and 3 cups water in a one-quart glass jar, until salt dissolves.
- Squeeze lime or lemon juice, and add to the brine solution. Set aside.
- Peel the carrot and cut in strips or desired shapes. Peel the chocho, cut in half lengthwise, remove the pit and discard, and cut into slices.
- Place carrot, chocho, onion, pepper, and pimento in the glass jar, and leave an inch of space at the top.
- Pour brine over the vegetables, making sure to cover all the vegetables.
- Cover the jar using a tight-fitting lid.
- Leave the jar on the counter away from direct sunlight for about 3-7 days. The room temperature should be 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Open lid to release pressure daily, and taste vegetables to make sure they taste good.
- Transfer to refrigerator to store for up to 1 month. The fermenting will continue at a slower pace.