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.

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

Pickled Jalapeno Peppers

5 / 20 votes
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.
David Leite
Servings16 servings
Calories21 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time20 minutes


  • 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.
Seoultown Kitchen

Adapted From

Seoultown Kitchen

Buy On Amazon


Serving: 1 tablespoonCalories: 21 kcalCarbohydrates: 4 gProtein: 1 gFat: 0.1 gSaturated Fat: 0.01 gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01 gSodium: 288 mgFiber: 0.2 gSugar: 3 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2011 Debbie Lee. Photo © 2011 Quentin Bacon. All rights reserved.

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 fried potatoes, eggs, vegetable spring rolls, and skillet 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 vegetarian stir-fries, bacon cheeseburgers, 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 pepper and egg sandwiches, salads, eggs, you name it! We used these tasty peppers alongside grilled chicken sausage and in a mixture for beef 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.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

Hungry For More?

Dilly Beans

Extraordinarily easy and exceptionally tasty dilly beans are within your grasp. Seriously. They’re tangy, crisp, and outrageously good.

1 hr 15 mins

Sandwich Pickles

Admit it, you’ve probably been eating the same tired, jarred sandwich pickles for as long as you’ve been eating sandwiches. No more.

3 d 25 mins

Pickled Cherries

An easy, unexpected way to extend cherry season that’s tartly sweet, subtly spiced, and surprisingly irresistible.

1 hr 45 mins

5 from 20 votes (8 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


    1. Maria, they’ll keep at least 4 to 6 weeks in the fridge, stored in a sealed container, and I’ve had no issues with storing them for a few months.

    1. Sure, Greg. You can hot-water process them as you would a pickle and store for up to a year.

  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.