Holiday Kitchen Gifts: Candied Korean Peppers

Christmas is nearly upon us and 'tis the season for gifts from the heart … and the kitchen. This week, I'll be sharing a few of my favorite kitchen goodies that lend themselves well to giving as gifts or sharing in your home with guests. This time around, a spicy-tangy-sweet batch of candied Korean peppers is taking center stage. Choose any hot pepper or chili you like, but I really adore the bright red color of these Korean chilis and appreciate the heat and size of the rounds for using as condiments and sandwich fixings.

Now, the chilis themselves are a fantastic treat, but don't forget to use the brine that gets poured into the jar(s) along with peppers. I love using it in salad dressings, sauces, and drizzled over potstickers to take them up a notch or three. I like making a big batch and finding smaller jars for putting out on a table when entertaining and tucking into a gift basket to give to friends and family over the holidays.

These candied peppers are absolutely fantastic nestled onto your favorite burger, added to just about any stir-fry, and eaten straight out of the jar! I've even been known to bake a sweet potato and use some of the peppers and brine to serve them. Once you've made and tasted them, you'll be looking for more peppers to sweeten up!

Candied Korean Peppers

  • 2 cups sliced fresh Korean chili peppers (you can opt for other peppers, but I love the heat and bright red color of these)
  • ½ cup water
  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar

Place the peppers in a medium pot. Add the water, vinegar, and sugar. Cook over medium-high heat until boiling.

Reduce the temperature and simmer until the liquid has reduced and looks like syrup, stirring occasionally. This will take approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour. Ladle the mixture into a jar or jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.

Wipe the rim(s) with a clean cloth. Add the lid and screw shut. Allow the jars to cool on the counter before storing the candied peppers in the refrigerator for up to a month.

  • Yields: About 2 cups of candied chilis
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour