Haitian Pikliz: A Fiery and Tangy Culinary Delight

Haitian Pikliz: A Fiery and Tangy Culinary Delight

Get ready to embark on a captivating culinary journey to the beautiful island of Haiti! Let me introduce you to Pikliz (pronounced "pick lees"), a vibrant and tantalizing Haitian condiment that holds a special place in the heart of Haitian cuisine. Brace yourself for this extraordinary blend of finely shredded cabbage, crispy carrots, flavorful onions, fiery hot peppers, tangy vinegar, and zesty lime juice. This is not just any ordinary condiment - it's a flavor explosion that will leave your taste buds craving more!

Pikliz is truly a taste of Haiti's rich and diverse culture. It's like a culinary symbol of the country's traditions, perfectly complementing various meat dishes. With its vibrant colors, bold flavors, and a hint of tanginess, Pikliz takes your taste buds on a journey to the sun-kissed shores of Haiti. Each bite tells a story of culinary excellence and cultural heritage. So get ready to experience the essence of Haiti with this incredible condiment that adds a burst of flavor and a touch of authenticity to your dining.

What is Pikliz?

Pikliz is a mouthwatering and spicy Haitian slaw, boasting a unique blend of vinegar-soaked cabbage infused with the fiery heat of hot peppers. Unlike its American counterpart, this tantalizing condiment is renowned for its distinct flavor profile, and is widely used to add a delightful touch of spiciness to a variety of dishes.

It pairs impeccably well with traditional Haitian delicacies such as griot (succulent fried pork chunks), crispy fried chicken, or tasso (juicy goat or beef marinated in zesty orange juice and then fried to perfection). With its explosive flavors and vibrant taste, Pikliz is a must-try for all culinary adventurers seeking a truly unforgettable Haitian dining experience.


  • 3 cups Cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large Carrot, thinly sliced or coarsely grated
  • 1 Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium Bell Pepper
  • 2 Scallions, sliced
  • 4 Scotch bonnet peppers (habanero peppers can be substituted)
  • 1 ½ cups Distilled White vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 8-12 Black Peppercorns
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • ½ Sour Orange, juiced

Step by Step Guide

Step 1: Make Hot Pepper Paste

  • Using a food processor or blender, carefully blend the freshly squeezed lime juice with the vibrant and fiery Scotch bonnet peppers until they form a harmonious and zesty concoction.

Step 2: Make Vegetable Mixture

  • Add a colorful array of thinly sliced vegetables to a large bowl. Gently combine the vibrant medley of vegetables, ensuring each slice is perfectly coated with flavors, using either your hands or a trusty pair of tongs. The crisp textures and vibrant hues will surely make your dish a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds.

Step 3: Combine Paste and Vegetables

  • Add mixture to a large glass bottle or mason jar.
  • Add the salt plus the peppercorns. Add the vinegar, filling about ¾ of the bottle. If you need more vinegar, feel free to add more.
  • Give the jar a few shakes to help the salt dissolve.
  • Store in the refrigerator and use accordingly.

This delicious sauce is perfect for serving with meat dishes like crispy fried pork or other delectable fried foods. It also makes a delightful topping for baked fish, such as succulent panko-crusted cod. Its rich flavors and savory notes will elevate your culinary creations to new heights!

Cooking Considerations and Tips

  • Use fresh, crunchy vegetables for the best flavor and texture.
  • Feel free to substitute vinegar types to add complexity or sweetness.
  • Adjust the spiciness with Scotch bonnet peppers or sugar as desired.
  • Let the Pikliz sit for at least an hour before serving to meld the flavors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should Pikliz be refrigerated?

  • For a milder flavor, refrigerate your Pikliz. For a more intense flavor, keep it out and consume it within a few days.

How long does Pikliz last?

  • Pikliz can last for several months in the refrigerator or up to two weeks after marinating.

What is Pikliz good with?

  • Enjoy it with rice, red beans, grilled meats, sandwiches, pizza, or burgers.

Is Pikliz vegan?

  • Yes, it's made from vegetables and is fat-free and low in calories.

Is Pikliz fermented?

  • This recipe doesn't call for fermenting, but you can ferment to enhance the flavor.

Pikliz vs Kimchi

While both undergo fermentation, Pikliz's primary ingredient is cabbage, and it mainly consists of vinegar-saturated cabbage flavored with hot pepper, whereas Kimchi has a more varied vegetable composition.


Indulge in the magic of Haitian Pikliz, for it is more than a mere hot sauce. It's an extraordinary journey, a symphony of flavors and textures that encapsulates the very essence of Haitian cuisine. Whether you're a Caribbean cuisine enthusiast or an adventurous foodie seeking a captivating addition to your culinary repertoire, let Pikliz entice your palate. Prepare to be enchanted not only by its tantalizing taste but also by the cultural richness that dances with every single bite.


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