Condiments, Sauces & Marinades/ Jamaican/ Vegan/ Vegetarian

Jamaican Pickled Vegetables (Escovitch Sauce)

August 5, 2022 (Last Updated: August 30, 2022)

Jamaican Pickled Vegetables (Escovitch Sauce) is a very popular Caribbean pickled vegetable dressing that is used as a condiment to many dishes, particularly seafood. It’s made by pickling vegetables such a onions, chayote, carrots and scotch bonnet peppers in vinegar, herbs and spices!

jamaican pickled vegetables (escovitch dressing) in glass jar on wooden board.

Share this Blog Post with Family & Friends!

Jamaican Pickled Vegetables (Escovitch Sauce) is a very popular Caribbean pickled vegetable dressing that is used as a condiment to many dishes, particularly seafood. It’s made by pickling vegetables such a onions, chayote, carrots and scotch bonnet peppers in vinegar, herbs and spices!

Looking for similar recipes or more tasty Jamaican recipes? Check out Jamaican Escovitch Fish, and serve alongside these Jamaican Fried Dumpling! These Jamaican seafood dishes are great options as well, Jamaican Curry Shrimp (Seafood) and Jamaican Coconut Curried Salmon!

scotch bonnet peppers sliced on wooden board.

Jamaican Pickled Vegetables (Escovitch Sauce)

Jamaican Escovitch Fish is one of my favourite seafood recipes, if you read the recipe blog post you’ll understand why! It’s all kinds of yumminess, with great flavour, texture, and island pizazz! That leads me to this Jamaican Pickled Vegetable recipe – it’s the condiment to the dish, the perfect pair!

Growing up, we always had a glass jar of sliced veggies in the very back of the fridge. We didn’t know exactly what it was, but we knew it was spicy and the grown up always had it. As we got older, we understood exactly why it was a staple in our household!

Made by pickling vegetables such a onions, chayote (chocho), carrots and scotch bonnet peppers in vinegar, herbs and spices, this Caribbean staple condiment can be used on variety of dishes! Fish, meats, poultry just to name a few!

You’ll Love this Recipe, Here’s Why:

Pairs Perfectly with Fish & Seafood Recipes – especially Jamaican Escovitch Fish

The Perfect Condiment – use these pickled escovitch sauce on a variety of dishes from meats to poultry and most definitely fish and seafood.

Great Way to Use Up Vegetables – if you have vegetables in the fridge that are about to go bad, pickling is a great way to save food and preserve them for an extended period of time.

Quick & Easy to Prepare – this sauce comes together in no time, once the veggies are prepped, toss in a sealable glass jar and “Bob’s your uncle”!

What Does Escovitch Mean?

The word escovitch comes from the Spanish word “escabeche”, which is used to describe a dish of fish that is fried then marinated in vinegar and spices. Also known as pickling, this was a great way to preserve food and keep them from spoiling in the days prior to refrigeration.

History of Jamaican Escovitch Sauce

 Escovitch Sauce, same as escovitch fish originates in Spain and dates back to the 16th century when the Spanish settled on the island. This speaks to the complex mix of colonial cultures that influence the island cuisine.

Other Names for Jamaican Pickled Vegetables

There are a few names to describe this condiment, here are some of them:

  • Escovitch Sauce
  • Escovitch Dressing
  • Hot Pepper Pickle
  • Hot Pickle Pepper
  • Jamaican Pickled Vegetables
  • Jamaican Pickled Pepper(s)
  • Jamaican Escovitch Pickle Sauce
vegetables for escovitch sauce in glass jar.

What is Escovitch Fish?

Escovitch Fish is a very popular fried fish dish, served on the island of Jamaican from morning until night. It is fish, often red snapper or sliced king fish fried and then marinated or pickled under a medley of vinegar, spices and vegetables.

What Does Escovitch Fish Taste Like

This dish is similar to ceviche, a South American process of cooking fish or seafood using vinegar. However, unlike ceviche, the fish is first fried and the veggies sauteed until tender crisp before pouring atop the fish to marinate. It has a slightly sweet tangy taste with a hint of spice which enhances the natural flavour of the fish.

jamaican escovitch snapper and king fish on white plate.

Ingredients and Ingredient Notes

  • White Onions – you can use yellow or cooking onions, sweet onions or white onions.
  • Carrots –  thinly slice or julienne these.
  • Chayote – also known as chocho  is a type of squash and has a taste between a mild apple and cucumber with a crisp texture.
  • Scotch Bonnet Peppers – this packs a good spicy punch, and flavour to the pickled vegetables. Alternatively, you can use habanero peppers.
  • Pimento Seeds – also known as allspice berries and tastes like a warm blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
  • Thyme Sprigs – this fresh aromatic and flavourful herb is essential in many jamaican dishes, and definitely great in this one as well.
  • White Vinegar – this is key in the pickling process as the acidity of vinegar inhibits bacterial growth.

What’s Needed to Make This Recipe

For optimal freshness, here are some features you should look for in a pickling jar:

  • Glass – durable, food-safe and reusable.
  • Air-Tight Seal – to all for maximum freshness.
  • Flip Lid Design makes opening and closing the jars easier.
  • Wide Mouth Opening – allows for easy filling, removing, and cleaning of jar.

See My Story Below for Step-by-Step Instructions

How to Make Jamaican Pickled Vegetables (Escovitch Sauce)

Prep Ingredients – slice onions and chayote (chocho), julienne carrots, carefully slice scotch bonnet peppers, pimento seeds, thyme sprigs, and set aside.

Add Ingredients to Jar – in a large sealable glass jar, layer in all the prepped ingredients. Then pour the white vinegar on top until all the vegetables are covered. Seal and place in refrigerator to allow the flavours to intensify and marinate.

jamaican pickled vegetables (escovitch dressing) in glass jar on wooden board.

Jamaican Pickled Vegetable Recipe Notes & Tips

  • Glass and Metal – if using a glass mason jar, ensure you use a metal lid and not plastic.
  • Use Gloves – when handling and cutting the scotch bonnet peppers use gloves to prevent burns.
  • Back of Fridge – store in the rear of refrigerator to ensure temperatures remain stable when resting.
fresh thyme, pimento seeds and carrots on wooden board.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What’s the Difference between Hot and Cold Escovitch Sauce/ Escovitch Dressing?

The only difference besides one being cooked until tender crisp is the addition of sugar, salt and oil. It also allows for the flavour to be released from the ingredients in the shortest time.

What’s the Difference Between Escovitch Dressing and Escovitch Sauce?

They are essentially the same condiment and the terms used interchangeably. However, dressing is pickled in vinegar and stored in the fridge and sauce is cooked until vegetables tender crisp.

Can you keep escovitch pickled vegetables at room temperature?

For this method of pickling vegetables, I do not recommend storing at room temperature. There are various reasons, one being the risk of bacteria from improper sterilization of the glass jar prior to adding the escovitch vegetables. Also, once the jar is opened, it would need to be refrigerated – and this is a jar you’ll be going back and forth in! The pickling process for pickling at room temperature has a more intricate process.

Interested in more Jamaican Recipes? Check These Out!

I’d greatly appreciate if you left a star ★ rating (located below), as well as leave a comment if you found this blog post helpful and tasty! 

Also, don’t forget to keep up with me on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest!

Lastly, sign up to our monthly newsletter for all TSS updates straight to your inbox!

Jamaican Pickled Vegetables (Escovitch Sauce)

Jamaican Pickled Vegetables (Escovitch Sauce) is a very popular Caribbean pickled vegetable dressing that is used as a condiment to many dishes, particularly seafood. It's made by pickling vegetables such a onions, chayote, carrots and scotch bonnet peppers in vinegar, herbs and spices!
5 from 15 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Pickling 7 d
Total Time 15 mins
Course Condiments, Sauces & Marinades, Jamaican & Caribbean
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 1 1.8l Glass Jar
Calories 574 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 6 White Onions large, sliced
  • 2 Carrot large, julienned
  • 2 Chayote chocho, large, sliced
  • 6 Scotch Bonnet Peppers sliced
  • 20 Pimento Seeds allspice berries
  • 2 Thyme Sprigs
  • 4 cups White Vinegar

Instructions
 

  • In a large sealable glass jar, layer in all the prepped ingredients – onions, carrots, chayote (chocho), scotch bonnet peppers, pimento seeds and thyme sprigs. Then pour the white vinegar on top until all the vegetables are covered. Seal and place in refrigerator to allow the flavours to intensify and marinate.
    pickled vegetables (escovitch sauce) prepped ingredients.

Nutrition

Calories: 574kcalCarbohydrates: 91gProtein: 12gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 142mgPotassium: 1910mgFiber: 20gSugar: 42gVitamin A: 21061IUVitamin C: 166mgCalcium: 315mgIron: 4mg
Keyword escovitch, escovitch dressing, escovitch fish, escovitch fry fish, escovitch pickle, escovitch pickle sauce, escovitch pickle sauce jamaican style, escovitch sauce, fried fish recipe, fry fish, how to make jamaican style escovitch pickle sauce, jamaican beach style escovitch fry fish recipe, jamaican escovitch pickle recipe, jamaican hellshire beach style hot pepper sauce recipe, jamaican pickled pepper, jamaican pickled vegetables, jamaican recipes, pickled pepper, pickled vegetables, sauce for jamaican escovitch fry fish, scotch bonnet pepper
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and a comment below I always love hearing from you! You can also tag @theseasoned.skillet and use #theseasonedskillet on Instagram!
jamaican pickled vegetables (escovitch dressing) in glass jar on wooden board.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? 

Leave a comment below and a star rating above, or tag @theseasoned.skillet on Instagram and use hashtag #theseasonedskillet!

ARE YOU STILL HUNGRY? 

Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest for more great recipes and all the latest updates!

14 Comments

  • Reply
    Lilly
    August 17, 2022 at 4:36 pm

    5 stars
    This escovitch recipe is AMAZING! I’ve been putting the pickled vegetables on everything lately. It tastes especially good with rice and fish!

    • Reply
      Taneisha Morris
      August 22, 2022 at 11:03 pm

      Escovitch vegetables and fish is just the most perfect pairing! Love that you’ve been enjoying the recipe!

  • Reply
    Marta
    August 18, 2022 at 8:18 pm

    5 stars
    I’m so glad I found this Jamaican escovitch vegetable recipe! I was looking for something to serve alongside my jerk pernil and this was everything it needed and more.

    • Reply
      Taneisha Morris
      August 22, 2022 at 11:02 pm

      Ohhhh yes! That’s a great pairing Marta! Love the sound of that – thanks so much for giving it a try and letting me know it turned out great!

  • Reply
    Camille
    August 21, 2022 at 4:50 pm

    5 stars
    Jamaican pickled vegetables is so nostalgic and this recipes is hands down theee best. Paired it with some fried fish for dinner and the family loved it. Thanks gworl! xx

    • Reply
      Taneisha Morris
      August 22, 2022 at 11:00 pm

      Yess!! Paired with some fried fish is the perfect combination! Thanks so much for trying Camille!

  • Reply
    Robin
    August 22, 2022 at 8:21 pm

    5 stars
    I grew up like you in a home where pickled vegetables were always in the refrigerator, however my grandmother or mother always made them. So, I was excited to try my hand at it. Not only were your instructions easy to follow, the result was exceptional.

    • Reply
      Taneisha Morris
      August 22, 2022 at 10:59 pm

      Same here! There was always a jar in the back of the fridge in our household as well! So happy to hear you enojoyed!

  • Reply
    Jazz
    August 24, 2022 at 12:38 pm

    5 stars
    This is the only escovitch sauce recipe I use now–delicious and simple and the taste is spot on. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Taneisha Morris
      August 29, 2022 at 10:39 pm

      Yay! Love that feedback! Thanks so much for trying it out Jazz!

  • Reply
    Jessica
    August 24, 2022 at 1:48 pm

    5 stars
    My neighbor grows chayote and gave me some and I had no idea what to do with it until I saw this recipe. Made it and served with some fried fish, it was AMAZING.

    • Reply
      Taneisha Morris
      August 29, 2022 at 10:39 pm

      So happy to hear Jessica!! Thanks so much for letting me know how it turned out!!

  • Reply
    Mama Phatimaat
    August 27, 2022 at 11:50 pm

    5 stars
    Can you store the Jamaican escovitch on the counter in a glass jar for a year and it be edible???

    • Reply
      Taneisha Morris
      August 30, 2022 at 12:40 pm

      For this method of pickling vegetables, I do not recommend storing at room temperature. There are various reasons, one being the risk of bacteria from improper sterilization of the glass jar prior to adding the escovitch vegetables. Also, once the jar is opened, it would need to be refrigerated – and this is a jar you’ll be going back and forth in! The pickling process for pickling at room temperature has a more intricate process.

    Leave a Comment

    Recipe Rating




    You Might Also Like

    Jamaican Pickled Vegetables – Escovitch Sauce
    Jamaican Pickled Vegetables – Escovitch Sauce
    Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe Jamaican Rum Cake Jerk Marinade Caribbean Green Seasoning Rasta Pasta