RECIPE – Haitian “Pikliz”; Spicy Pickled Cabbage

by Henry Gould – June 9th, 2020

The two heavyweights in the pickled cabbage world – kimchi and sauerkraut – have just met their match. Enter pikliz (pronounced “pick-lees”) a spicy pickled cabbage that keeps in the fridge for weeks, and goes with practically anything.

Whereas kimchi and sauerkraut require a long time to ferment, pikliz is done after a few days in the fridge. It goes especially well with rich food (fried pork, plantains, stews, curries) as the sharpness of the vinegar helps offset the richness.

If you don’t like things insanely spicy, cut the habanero’s / scotch bonnet pepper into bigger pieces so you don’t accidentally bite into one and ruin your dinner.

If you have a mandolin to slice everything, go right ahead, but please be careful… it’s very easy to cut off a chunk of knuckle or finger nail…

Haitian “Pikliz”; Spicy Pickled Cabbage
  • 1/2 head of white cabbage
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 large shallot
  • 2-3 orange scotch bonnet or habanero peppers, sliced
  • 5 allspice berries
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  • Sea salt
  • 2 limes
  • White vinegar
  • 1 large glass jar, or nonreactive container with a lid

With a very sharp knife or mandolin, slice the cabbage, carrot and shallot very thinly. Put into a large bowl. Add the garlic, thyme, allspice berries.

Sprinkle sea salt aggressively over the entire mixture, then squeeze over the juice of both limes. Using your hands, squeeze together all the vegetables, “scrunching” them with your hands.

Put the vegetable mixture into the jar or nonreactive container, then pour over the white vinegar until it reaches the top. Seal with a lid and leave in the fridge for 2-3 days to pickle.

Will keep in your fridge for at least a month, if not longer!

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