the life and times of J T Frey

Red Devil Pickles

Once upon a time I tried Rick Bayless' recipe for chicken tinga tacos. The pickled morita chiles turned out to be one of my favorite aspects of that dish — so much so that I couldn't bear to discard the unused liquid. Instead, I used it to pickle some cucumbers. And thus were born red devil pickles: a sweet, salty brine with tones of chile flavor and heat with a hint of smoke.


  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • 3 cup water
  • 50 g pickling salt
  • 80 g turbinado sugar
  • ½ tsp coriander seed
  • ½ tsp mustard seed
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 guajillo chile, seeded and torn into large pieces
  • 1 pasilla chile, broken into large pieces
  • 2 morita chiles, whole
  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. SImmer for 1 hour.
  2. Wash, clean, and slice (chips or spears) enough cucumbers to fill a 32 oz jar approximately ¾ full.
  3. If the pickling liquid reduces to less than 2 c in volume, dilute to 2 c.
  4. Remove the garlic and morita chiles from the brine and place in the jar. Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the remaining solids as you pour hot brine over the cucumbers in the jar.

Written by Jeff Frey on Saturday July 22, 2023
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