Pickled Fresh Chiles with Vegetables: Chiles en Escabeche

articles Food & Cuisine Recipes

Karen Hursh Graber

This is one of the most versatile and colorful ways of using fresh green chiles. At large regional fairs and smaller ferias throughout the country, glass jars of chiles en escabeche are offered for sale. In the large markets of central Mexico, they are ladled out from large clay cazuelas into plastic bags, according to how much the buyer wants. They may be used to top many bean and rice dishes, as a garnish for tostadas, or in quesadillas. Add them to chicken broth to make a Yucatecan-style soup. Mix them into cream cheese for a spread or into sour cream for a dip. Use them on tortas and other hero-type sandwiches, and mix them in with a tossed green salad. Alone, they are a good table condiment with any Mexican meal or grilled dinner.


  • 1 pound carrots, cut into thin rounds
  • 1 ½ pounds pearl onions, peeled
  • ½ pound fresh jalapeno or Serrano chiles, or a mixture of both
  • 2 heads garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
  • 6 bay leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • ¾ tablespoon dried oregano leaves
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 sprigs marjoram
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup olive oil


Combine the vegetables and spices in a 1-quart glass jar.

Bring the vinegar and water to a boil, remove from heat and add olive oil, stirring to combine.

Pour pickling mixture over the vegetables in the jar, mix well, cover and marinate 4 days before using. After the 4 days, keep pickled vegetables in the refrigerator for longer storage.

Makes 1 quart.

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Published or Updated on: January 1, 2003 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2008
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