I had recently received a ton of green peppers from government rations. I also noticed that vegetable group buy packs featured plenty of these green peppers.
Knowing it is highly unlikely I’ll consume all of them via stir-fry, I’ve opted to make them into a spicy relish! It’s a great condiment to have, and I hope this recipe can inspire you with alternative ways of consuming (and preserving) this pepper.
Spicy Green Pepper Relish
These green peppers (qingjiao, 青椒) or 甜椒 (tianjiao, sweet peppers) are pretty common in Chinese stir-fry and are mildly spicy.
It’s also a hardy pepper, which could be why it is so widely available. The peppers can keep for 2 weeks or more in the fridge. But I can’t eat a dozen of them…therefore, I’ve decided on cooking them down and preserving them as a relish.
(The difference between a relish and a hot sauce is that relish is chunky and hot sauce is smooth.)
While the peppers do go very well in meat & pepper stir-fried dishes, diced and cooked in omelets, stewed, etc., I find the condiment much more versatile. This relish can be eaten with rice or noodles, used as a replacement for Tabasco on pizza, or even as a marinade or sauce for cooking other dishes.
What You’ll Need
- A blender or food processor.
- A small pot.
- A large pot for sterilizing and sealing.
- Seal-tight jars.
*If you don’t have a blender, you can spend time finely dicing the peppers! It’ll be annoying as hell, but you’ll come close to the result.
- 400g green peppers
- 200g white wine vinegar
- 6 dried pepperoncino pods
- 5 large cloves of confit garlic (or fresh garlic)
- 15g salt
- 15g sugar
- 10g cumin (or other seasoning of your liking)
- A dash of chili powder
1. Wash peppers, remove stems and seeds. Rough chop into smaller pieces to be kind to your food processor.
2. Rehydrate dried pepperoncino pods in a small bowl with boiled water, just enough to submerge them. Cover with a lid / another bowl to let steam. Adjust the number of chilies for desired spice levels.
These green peppers are mildly spicy. For dried chilies, I’m using red pepperoncino Italian chilies, which are a little less spicy than bird’s eye chilies, to give the relish a nice kick. You can supplement them for any other dried or fresh chilies.
3. In your food processor, blend peppers with vinegar until as smooth as possible. Remove rehydrated chilies from water and blend together with garlic and seasoning.
I only have white wine vinegar, but you can use any kind of distilled white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, coconut vinegar, etc. The type of vinegar will change the flavor of the final product, but honestly, not by much.
4. Once blended, transfer into a small pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat. Let simmer until contents have been reduced by a third. The color should darken a bit. Give it a stir once in a while. This should take 20-25 minutes.
5. In a large pot, fill with water and bring to a boil. Sterilize your jars and lids in the boiling water for a couple minutes. Remove with tongs. Take your relish off the heat and carefully scoop into sterilized jars and seal. Place the jars back into the pot of boiling water to fully seal. Let cool before placing into the fridge.
Yield: All the ingredients combined and reduced yields roughly 450g of relish, filling two of my repurposed jars.
Spice Level: The heat is close to that of Tabasco hot sauce, maybe even a touch spicier due to the amount of pepperoncinos I put in. If the result is too spicy for you, add more sugar to balance it out.
Storage: In properly sealed sterilized jars, this relish can last in the fridge for up to 3-4 months. Once opened, I’d say no longer than 2-3 weeks. The acidity and salt in the recipe should be enough to give it a low PH level to keep it preserved. When in doubt, consume as soon as you’ve made it or discard if it tastes “off”. If you don’t have seal-tight jars, cut down the recipe to make a smaller batch!