Categories: Sides

Pikliz: Haitian Pickled Slaw with Hot Peppers


History and Background

We covered some good history for Haiti on the Manman poul ak nwa: Haitian Cashew Chicken posting, so head over there to get the lowdown on the culinary history of Haiti.


Today, we’re making pikliz, a simple cold uncooked pickled cabbage, carrot, onion, pea, and pepper based slaw.  We adapted a recipe from A Taste of Haiti by Mirta Yurnet-Thomas. It’s as easy as cutting up or grating the vegetables and combining in a jar with some salt, cloves, peppercorns, and vinegar.  The hardest part is waiting the 24-48 hours for the flavors to meld!  So make pikliz early and make it often!

While we made it to go with Manman poul ak nwa: Haitian Cashew Chicken, we’ve found that it goes well with pulled pork, Bahn mi, and just about any other pork or chicken.  If you like spicy peppery heat, throw it on liberally!

We like it hot here at Explorers Kitchen, and we eat the Scotch Bonnet or habañero peppers liberally, but that’s not traditionally done in Haiti, so don’t feel like you have to eat them.  According to our sources, Haitians always eat fresh Scotch bonnet peppers rather that the ones that end up in the pickling brine.  They give up plenty of flavors to infuse into the other vegetables pickled here.

Make some pikliz, the time is now! It brings a fruity heat and a satisfying, fresh crunch that added a lot of interest to many dishes.  I have a feeling that these pikliz will have a permanent home in our refrigerator as we make new batches.  They’re that good!


Pikliz: Haitian Pickled Slaw

Rate this recipe
2 ratings
Recipe by: Patrick Jaszewski


  • 4 whole cloves
  • 8 to 10 peppercorns
  • 6 Scotch Bonnet or habañero peppers with seeds, stemmed and quartered (See note on Spicy Peppers)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced or shredded cabbage
  • ½ cup grated carrots
  • ¼ cup frozen green peas
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 cups white vinegar plus more to top off


10 minutes
  1. Add cloves and peppercorns to a large-mouthed quart (liter) sized mason jar.
  2. Layer vegetables in alternating layers in jar using ⅓ of each at a time. (Order does not matter)
  3. Repeat twice until all vegetables are in jar, pushing down to compress.
  4. In a medium bowl, dissolve salt in 2 cups of vinegar by stirring or using immersion blender.
  5. Add vinegar and salt solution to jar.
  6. Top off jar with remaining vinegar.
  7. Screw lid on jar tightly and allow to rest 24-48 hours refrigerated or at room temperature.
  8. Refrigerate after opening adding vinegar to cover vegetables as you consume the pikliz for various recipes (like Manman poul ak nwa: Haitian Cashew Chicken)


24-48 hours rest time

Patrick gives pikliz a perfect 5.  Jillian doens’t do well with spicy food, so she didn’t try it.  However, since Patrick writes the posts, he’s putting in 5s across the board.  Believe me, pikliz are delicious and they couldn’t be easier to make.  Make them today!

Tried this recipe?  Let us know what you think about it in the comments below!

Patrick Jaszewski @pjaszewski

Culinary Tyrannosaurus, passport stamp collector, home cook, pilot, strength enthusiast, bilingual, coffee roaster, recovering homebrewer. Committed to DIY ethic. Minnesota native transplanted in Pennsylvania. Thunderbird MBA Alumni and Golden Gopher. Undyingly positive and open minded. Drives Jill crazy by questioning everything.

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