Saturday, February 18, 2017

Green Peppercorn Pickles

The CC is not the sentimental type and he's certainly not the rhapsodising type but if there ever were something to send him into a Proustian "madeleine" moment, it would be these pickles.

What are they?

Fresh green peppercorns that have been pickled with just salt and lime.

A good friend of the CC's used to eat them with yogurt-rice. He couldn't cook if his life depended on it (still can't!) so these were "a lifeline for kitchen failures and the lovelorn". Bit of a harsh judgment on the CC's part.

Back to the peppercorns.

Only going to work with fresh peppercorns which are hard to find. Ideally, you would use just salt but you need lime to get the pH of the liquid down to the right level. The lime does not participate in the final product as a taste since the canning process neutralizes it.

If you're going to make truly great steak au poivre or the classic Thai green fish curry with green peppercorns (พริกไทยอ่อน), these be the peppercorns that you want to use. In a wondrous world, you'd have fresh peppercorns all year around but it's not a wondrous world. We can just make it a little more wondrous with food technology.


(based on your canning jar size)

500 grams green peppercorns
8 tbsp sea salt
4 limes (juiced and passed through a sieve)


Note: Canning jars come with a sealant. The sealant is activated when inverted in boiling water.


Wash the peppercorns really carefully. Set aside.

Bring water to a boil. Dump the bottle inside and fish it out. You are just sterilizing the bottle. In this bottle, drop the peppercorns, the salt and the lime juice. Add enough cold fresh water to top off the jar.

Add the sealing mechanism and seal carefully. Gently put the bottle upside-down in the boiling water. Bring to a boil and let it boil for about 5-6 minutes.

Fish it out and let it sit.

Takes about 2-3 weeks to pickle. Once you open the bottle, you must keep it in the fridge. Use a clean fork/spoon to fish out the pickles. Add more salt and water to cover them when you do so.

1 comment:

Rajni said...

During winter fresh peppercorn are available in vegetable markets. In a typical Gujarati household, this pickle is prepared with lime pieces. Simply add lime pieces along with the peppercorn, lime juice and salt and sufficient water to cover the both. Occasionally stir till the peppercorn starts turning blackish and the lime pieces has softened.