Chilli pickled garlic

by Ed Smith

Soft, mellowed garlic with a touch of chilli heat

It’s important to use natural salt with no additives or iodine in this recipe—Spice Mountain sells suitable salt, or look out for ‘kosher’ or ‘pickling salt’. If you use table salt, your cloves will turn blue.

For more on garlic, read Ed’s feature


3 large bulbs of garlic
8 bird’s eye chillies
100g white wine vinegar
10g coarse natural sea salt
10g caster sugar
8 peppercorns
30 pink peppercorns (approx)


Run your containers through a dishwasher to sterilise them before commencing this recipe.

Peel each of the garlic cloves. Trim off any bad bits or thick ends. Finely slice 4 of the birdseye chillies. Leave the other 4 whole.

Pour the vinegar, 100g water, salt and sugar into a small milk pan. Bring to the boil, stirring so the salt and sugar fully dissolve. Add the peppercorns and the garlic, turn down to a very light simmer and cook for 4 mins.

Place a whole chilli, a few pink peppercorns and a sprinkle of sliced chilli into the base of each jar. Spoon in enough garlic to fill it one third of the way up. Add more chilli and peppercorns, then layer in more garlic so that the container is two thirds full. Add more peppercorns and the remaining whole chillies. Top up the garlic and pour the warm brine over. Close each lid while warm.

Recipe and images: Ed Smith