Pickled vegetables are a great way to elevate a variety of dishes from burgers and hot dogs to sandwiches and simple salads. Quick pickled vegetables can easily be made at home and adding some hot sauce to the brine can bring a well adjustable heat to the mix. Unlike many kitchen hacks that turn out to be useless this is a great trick to preserve vegetables with a kick.
Originally I was not going to post this recipe or kitchen hack, if you will. Clearly a lot of people must have had the same idea, adding a little hot sauce to a pickling brine to be able to adjust the heat of some pickled vegetables seemed so obvious. Unlike adding chillies to spice up a pickle mix and not knowing how hot it will be with hot sauce you know how much heat you will get. As a quick internet search revealed that is not actually the case, although Tabasco offers a “recipe” for hot sauce pickles on their website (here).
You may have noticed that I use this quick pickle or refrigerator pickle recipe in a lot of dishes, it has been a real life saver this summer adding some variety to otherwise repetitive salads (Piri Piri Pasta Salad, Avocado Lentil Salad , Piri Piri Potato Salad). Therefore I figured it might make sense to share this recipe and hack once because apparently, not to toot my own horn or anything, I am quite an innovator. If you happed to ignore the Tabasco thing that is. Also I am getting tired of having to type the quick pickle recipe over and over again. Whenever I try to copy and paste the recipe I can never find the file on my computer. Why it feels the need to automatically create two documents instead of one I will never know. I guess this is technology’s little ways of rebellion paving the way for a Terminator-style apocalypse (the first two movies, nothing after that ever existed in my book).
Making this recipe is super simple, it requires no cooking or canning. When kept in the fridge after lacto-fermentation at room temperature for the first few days to develop that classic pickle flavour it should keep for up to 2 months. That last fact I cannot confirm, they have never lasted this long. I usually end up having to make a new batch once a week, but my quick pickled chillies may last longer and I will get back to you. This pickled mix can be used on anything you would want to add a little texture, acidity and flavour. You can even add it to some leftover rice with carrots and some olives to make a rice salad that is not bland and boring (the recipe is included below). Time to get pickling things, you will not regret trying this.
Hot Sauce Refrigerator Pickled Vegetables
Ingredients for one jar:
• Any vegetable you would like to pickle to fit into a jar (here red onion, bell peppers, and some garlic)
• 150 ml water
• 150 ml vinegar
• 2-3 tsp salt
• Hot sauce of choice
1. Cut whatever vegetable you choose to pickle into desired shape (cubed, slices, quarters, …) and fill it into a jar.
2. Mix all the ingredients of the brine adding as much hot sauce as you like and stir it together until the salt has dissolved completely. Try the brine making sure it is well-seasoned otherwise the pickled vegetables will lack flavour.
3. Pour the pickling brine into the jar until it covers the vegetables and close the lid.
4. Leave it to ferment for 4-5 days at room temperature, tasting it after four days to check whether it has the desired taste. You can use it after 20-30 minutes but it will be less pickle-like in flavour due to the lack of fermentation.
Bonus Recipe: Rice Salad
• Leftover rice
• 1 carrot, julienned and cut to size
• ½ cup hot sauce quick pickled red onions and bell peppers
• Pickles, diced
• Black or green olives
• Olive oil
• Hot sauce
• Salad herbs (fresh or dried)
1. Mix the rice with the vegetables and olives.
2. Make a vinaigrette from vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, hot sauce and salad herbs.
3. Add the vinaigrette to the salad and mix well.
4. Leave it to marinade in the vinaigrette for a couple hours if possible and season to taste before serving.