Growing up, my dad would always order a spicy cucumber, carrot, and cauliflower salad when we would go eat at restaurants, usually at Mexican food or Asian food places, and it was always sooooo good. As simple as it was, the crunchiness and subtle heat with the tart pickled vinegar was right up our alley and I’ve wanted to recreate this little snack ever since then.
After trying out various pickled carrot and cucumber recipes without them being quite what I remembered, I set out to just try and make my own. I’m down for any excuse to use a mandoline but instead of the usual round slices, I went for long ribbons just to fancy it up a bit. The mandoline still makes me super nervous though, especially doing things lengthwise like this so be careful!
I did both the cucumber and carrots on the 1/8″ setting, but the cucumbers were pretty thin and flimsy so next time I may do them at 1/4″ instead.
I also used apple cider vinegar along with the white vinegar just to give it a touch more flavor and sweetness.
The heat comes from letting the peppers stew with the vinegar over medium heat for a few minutes. I took most of the seeds out of the jalepenos and habaneros because I didn’t want it blazing hot, but by all means leave them in if you like things spicy. I did leave all the seeds from the dried chile de arbol in. *if you have trouble finding dried chiles de arbol at the store, you can find them here
While the vinegar mixture is “brewing”, I stacked all the other veggies into the jars, sort of layering them.
The vinegar mixture and all its components gets poured into each jar, then the jars are topped off with water. Swoosh them around a little to mix everything up then keep them in the fridge for up to three weeks. They’ll definitely taste better the next day!
This recipe has gotten closer to what I remember than anything I’ve tried before, and I love that it comes out not too spicy or hot at all, just right for snacking. You can also add in some red pepper if you want, and even some spices like a little bit of oregeano and peppercorns if you’d like. I like it plain and simple though.
Spicy Pickled Carrot and Cucumber Salad
Restaurant-style hot pickled carrots and cucumber salad.
- 8 carrots
- 2 cucumbers
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 white onion
- 2 jalepenos
- 2 habaneros
- 4 dried chiles de arbol
- 6 cloves garlic
- 6 bay leaves
- 1.5 cups white vinegar
- 1.5 cups apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Using a mandoline set at 1/8"-1/4", carefully slice carrots, cucumbers, jalapenos, and habaneros.
- Quarter onion and chop cauliflower into bite-sized florets.
- Tear chiles de arbol into large pieces and slice garlic into thin sections lengthwise.
- Over medium-low heat, warm vinegars, sugar, and salt until dissolved.
- Add onion, garlic, bay leaves, and peppers and cook for about 5 minutes
- Put cucumber, carrot, and cauliflower into large wide-mouth mason jars.
- Scoop onion and peppers out of vinegar mixture and add to jars.
- Pour vinegar mixture evenly into mason jars
- Top off with water if needed, close, and gently shake to fully combine.
- Refrigerate before serving.
- Keeps for 2-3 weeks in refrigerator.
- This makes about five jars, but can easily be halved or doubled as needed.
- You can adjust the ratio of carrots, cucumber, and cauliflower based on your liking, as well as the amount of peppers if you want it to be more subtle.
- Add red pepper, peppercorns, or even oregano if desired
22 thoughts on “Spicy Pickled Carrot and Cucumber Salad”
Oh my gosh! This looks delish!!!
It’s such a great little snack and is pretty healthy too :)
Mmmmm, this looks so delicious!
The cauliflower is my favorite part!
The jars are so pretty too, kinda makes you want to keep them just to look at.
That’s exactly what I thought Jeannie! I think canned things look so beautiful in the jars :)
This looks so good! And I love the colors too!
Thanks so much Bre!
This looks so delicious! Love the fresh veggies. I bet my hubby would enjoy this one. Pinning!
It seems to be a big hit with the dude-snacking, so hopefully!
This looks SO tasty! Perfect for summer!
Yes, it very much is Amy! Thanks!!
Oh yum! Carrots and cucumbers are my fave. This seems like the perfect light recipe for a summer evening salad or snack!
It totally is…or you know, eating half a jar in one sitting!
Um, this looks DELICIOUS! I want to make some now. Or better yet, have you make me some!
Bahahaa!! Well they ARE able to be shipped :)
How pretty and simple! I love this!
Thanks Melissa :) It was alot easier than I thought it would be!
This looks so yummy and the perfect way to use cucumbers from the garden!
Unfortunately I can’t grow cucumbers out here for crap, but for normal people, YES!!
This looks so delicious Emily! Perfect for summer!
Thank you Kendra! It is :)