Vinegar-Free Jamaican Pickle

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Enjoy this Vinegar-Free Jamaican Pickle recipe that tastes like the traditional recipe. Carrot, Chocho(chayote), onion, Scotch Bonnet Pepper, and Pimento in lime and brine mixture. 

Vinegar-Free Jamaican Pickle

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.

salt, jar of water for making brine for the jamaican pickle

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. 

Carrot, chocho, onion, scotch bonnet pepper, pimento and lime on a cutting board on a grey background

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.

vegetables cut into slices on a cutting board

How To Prepare Vinegar-Free Jamaican Pickle?

  1. Make a brine – mix salt and 3 cups water in a one-quart glass jar, until salt dissolves. 
  2. Add lime juice – squeeze lime or lemon juice, and add to the brine solution. Set aside.
  3. Add vegetables and spice to the quart jar – carrot, chocho, onion, pepper, and pimento, and leave an inch of space at the top. 
  4. Add the brine – pour the brine over the vegetables, making sure to cover all the vegetables.
  5. Cover the jar – using a tight-fitting lid.
  6. 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. 
  7. Store in refrigerator – for up to 1 month, the fermenting will continue at a slower pace. 

Chef Tips:

  1. Use clean fresh vegetables, and wash the vegetables.
  2. Cut them in whatever shape you choose.
  3. The brine should be slightly cloudy after 3 days.
  4. There should be bubbles on top. 
  5. After you open the lid, you should hear gas releasing. 
  6. The vegetables should develop a clean sour flavor. Discard if the smell is bad or mold develops in the brine.
  7. 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.

Overlay of vegetables in a jar

Other Jamaican Vegan Recipes To Make

  1. Vegan Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding
  2. Vegan Jerk Tofu
  3. Curried Chocho
  4. Jamaican Stew Peas And Spinners
  5. Jamaican Salt Fish Vegan

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Categories

Categories: ,
Course:
Cuisine:

Nutrition

(

Per serving

)
Energy: 23 kcal / 96 kJ
Carbs: 5 g

Cooking Time

Preparation: 15 min
Ready in: 15 min
For: 8 Servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Mix salt and 3 cups water in a one-quart glass jar, until salt dissolves. 
  2. Squeeze lime or lemon juice, and add to the brine solution. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. Place carrot, chocho, onion, pepper, and pimento in the glass jar, and leave an inch of space at the top. 
  5. Pour brine over the vegetables, making sure to cover all the vegetables.
  6. Cover the jar using a tight-fitting lid.
  7. 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. 
  8. Transfer to refrigerator to store for up to 1 month. The fermenting will continue at a slower pace. 
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.

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2 Comments
  1. Debi T
    June 9, 2020

    This is the simplest fermenting recipe I’ve seen. I need to try this. Can other veggies/fruits be used like cucumber, garlic, tomato, beet, etc.”