Pickled Jalapeno Peppers

These fast pickled jalapeno peppers, a Korean staple, are made with soy sauce, garlic, and rice vinegar. The perfect condiment for just about anything–tacos, grilled chicken, home fries, machaca, eggs. Takes only 20 minutes to toss together.

Pickling liquid being poured into a full jar of pickled jalapeno peppers.

What we’d give to have a peck of these pickled jalapeno peppers on hand at all times. They’re beguilingly complex in terms of taste yet take just 20 minutes of easy effort to create.

As a happy result, we’ve been rather promiscuously strewing them over everything. Tacos. Grilled chicken. Home fries. Machaca. Eggs. We just can’t help ourselves.–Debbie Lee

Pickled Jalapeno Peppers FAQs

What is the best way to safely slice jalapenos?

Some folks are more sensitive to peppers than others, but we suggest using food-safe gloves and a mandoline – and perhaps glasses or eye protection. The mandoline will give you the evenest slices and less hands-directly-on-peppers time.

If you opt not to wear gloves, be very certain to wash your hands thoroughly after handling the peppers, because anything that you scratch, itch, or touch while there are traces of pepper juice on your hands and fingers can make life pretty uncomfortable.

If you happen to inadvertently get jalapeno juice in your eyes, do a cold water rinse until the heat subsides. We’ve also heard of folks soaking cotton balls in milk and placing that on their eye – the capsaicin in the pepper will break down in the milk fat.

How can I adjust the level of spiciness in these pickled jalapenos?

If you love spice, use all of the pepper’s membranes and seeds. If you like the flavor of jalapeno, but would prefer to have less heat, follow the instruction in Step 1, cutting the peppers in half and scraping out the seeds.

How long will pickled jalapeno peppers keep?

Stored in the refrigerator, these pickled peppers will last for 4 to 6 weeks.

Pickled Jalapeno Peppers

Pickling liquid being poured into a full jar of pickled jalapeno peppers.
These fast pickled jalapeno peppers, a Korean staple, are made with soy sauce, garlic, and rice vinegar. The perfect condiment for just about anything–tacos, grilled chicken, home fries, machaca, eggs. Takes only 20 minutes to toss together.
Debbie Lee

Prep 15 mins
Cook 5 mins
Total 20 mins
16 servings
21 kcal
5 / 17 votes
Print RecipeBuy the Seoultown Kitchen cookbook

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  • 1-quart glass jar or several smaller jars


  • 8 jalapeños
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves sliced paper thin
  • 3/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar (unseasoned will work in a pinch)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup lemon-lime soda such as Sprite


  • Slice the jalapeños crosswise into thin rings about an 1/8-inch thick using a sharp knife or a handheld slicer. If you prefer a less-than-incredibly-spicy pickle, scrape out and discard the seeds. Place the jalapeño rings in a jar.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the soy sauce, garlic, rice vinegar, and sugar to a gentle boil and let it bubble for a few minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the citrus juices and soda and let cool until no longer piping hot, about 5 minutes.
  • Pour the warm soy mixture over the jalapeños. Tightly seal the jar with the lid. Immediately refrigerate the pickled jalapeño peppers for at least 1 day and up to 2 weeks before strewing or scattering them onto anything and everything.
Print RecipeBuy the Seoultown Kitchen cookbook

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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoonCalories: 21kcal (1%)Carbohydrates: 4g (1%)Protein: 1g (2%)Fat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.03gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 288mg (13%)Potassium: 56mg (2%)Fiber: 0.2g (1%)Sugar: 3g (3%)Vitamin A: 68IU (1%)Vitamin C: 11mg (13%)Calcium: 6mg (1%)Iron: 0.2mg (1%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Oh, these pickled jalapeno peppers are addictive! Tangy, salty, little nuggets with a little heat, but not too much to keep you from eating more and more. I really enjoyed the flavor of the soy sauce and the mellower rice vinegar instead of regular white vinegar.

They’re delicious on their own, but I found they’re also great with potatoes, eggs, vegetable spring rolls, and enchiladas. Will need to make another batch and try them with other foods. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of places these little morsels will fit right into.

It seemed odd to buy a soda just to use such a small portion of it only and to toss the rest. Can’t imagine what else I’d use it in before it went flat, and I don’t drink the stuff. There is already lemon, lime, and lots of sugar in the recipe, so surely these ingredients could just be adjusted to cover what the soda adds, right?

These pickled jalapeno peppers is a versatile topper for any kind of food. We now use these with stir-fries, burgers, grilled chicken, and grilled cheese sandwiches. The soy and vinegar and sugar give the pickles a perfect tang.

I might try the recipe another time with finger hot peppers. Yum yum.

The pickled jalapeno peppers recipe is easy to follow and comes together quickly. At first, I was skeptical about the addition of the Sprite soda, but I think it added a nice sweetness to the mix with a different flavor than the sugar. I’m not sure how or if the carbonation affected the whole thing, but I’m curious about that.

As a word of warning, if made with all the seeds in the peppers, the result is not just spicy, but incredibly spicy. I consider myself able to handle a lot of spice, but these were nearly at my limit, and way beyond the limit of others who tried them.

I was so ready to love these, but the spice level, as I mentioned earlier, is almost a bit too much for me to use them on everything I wanted. I would definitely remove some of the seeds from the jalapeños next time, and then this could become a regular condiment in my house.

I could see putting these on nearly everything! I really enjoyed the pickling liquid. I think anyone with a beginner’s interest in pickling would find this to be interesting and fun to try.

What a snappy addition to sandwiches, salads, eggs, you name it! We used these tasty peppers alongside grilled chicken sausage and in a mixture for lettuce wraps.

Over the weekend, we had a variety of takeout items and these were wonderful on a pulled pork sandwich. They even ended up on fish tacos. T

his is the ultimate combination of hot, salty, sweet, sour, and citrus. I think that the lemon-lime soda adds a little spark to these peppers and I will try using this same pickling liquid on other vegetables.

Originally published October 2, 2012


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  1. 5 stars
    These pickled jalapeños are my new addiction! I’m using them on just about everything, they are just so good! I’m thinking I might need to grow a few more plants because I just can’t keep up with the demand! I need to have a jar in the fridge at all times :-p

    1. We love that you love these as much as we do, Andrea! Thank you so much for taking the time to let us know.

  2. 5 stars
    I tried this recipe around 3 years ago. It’s now one of my all time favorite condiments. I’ve even started growing extra jalapeños in my garden so that I can make more.

  3. 5 stars
    This is one of the most delicious things ever made or tasted. Ive made it over the last few years regularly and is always worth it, so much so that my friends have got me making it for them too!

    An absolute must have all through the year.

    1. Thanks, Anahita! We’re so glad this has become a staple in your home and we so appreciate you taking the time to let us know.

  4. 5 stars
    The first time I made this recipe I scraped out the seeds on about 1/4 of the peppers and it was mild. The second time I used the seeds the spice blew my face off! I think the second batch of peppers were much spicier than the first. Food for thought. Everybody loves these peppers.

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