Haitian cuisine typically consists of hot and spicy food, which sets us apart from the “Caribbean Cuisine” aspect. For instance, Pikliz is a spicy side dish that can be served with any and every meal. Many call it the “Haitian version of hot sauce.” However, it is typically served with Griot, a famous Haitian dish that consists of fried pork and/or chicken, salad, and fried plantains. Here in America, Pikliz is known as “spicy pickled slaw or spicy coleslaw.” Now, be sure to make the pikliz at least 24 hours in advance before making the plantains. Letting your pikliz marinate overnight will allow it to be more appetizing and flavorful. Fried plantains, also known as, Bannann Peze in the Haitian culture, is a common feature with Haitian meals. Both side dishes are easy to make and really delicious. Once you get a taste of pikliz and bannann peze, you will crave more!
Pikliz (Spicy Pickled Slaw)
Serves: 4+ people
Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
- 1 cup of red cabbage shredded/sliced
- 1 ½ cup of shredded/sliced carrots
- 1 ½ cup of shredded/sliced cabbage
- ¼ cup of onions (thinly sliced)
- 1 cup of bell peppers (whichever color your prefer)
- 1 shallot (thinly sliced)
- 4 large habaneros/ scotch bonnet peppers (cut 1 in half and thinly slice the other 3)
- 4-6 cloves
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- ½ lime juice
- 3 cups of vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 10-15 peppercorns (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of adobe seasoning (optional)
- 1 pair of tongs to mix ingredients
* Grater is optional if you do not want to cut and slice the ingredients yourself using a knife.
* In your local grocery store, you may find prepackaged coleslaw; try to use at least 3-4 1/2 cups.
* Storage: 1 jar (32oz and up)
- In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, onions, shallots, bell peppers and the habaneros peppers together.
- Next, pour in the vinegar and lime juice and mix with the tongs.
- Season with salt and adobe seasoning, if you choose to use the adobe seasoning.
- Then add ingredients in a jar and let it sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours before eating.
Don’t forget to pour the remaining juice from the bowl into the jar.
- The flavors of the ingredients will marinate really well.
- It can last up to weeks or even a month, but the longer it is refrigerated, the sour it gets and loses it spicy touch.
*Tip: Use fewer peppers for mild spicy slaw
Bannan Peze (Fried Green/Sweet Plantains
Serves: 2+ people
Preparation Time: 5 Minutes
Ready In: 15 Minutes
- 3 green or sweet plantains
- ½ cup of vegetable oil
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- Plantain presser
- Paper towels
- If you do not have one, use a spatula or the bottom of a bowl
- Heat oil on medium heat in either a frying pan or deep fryer.
- Cut both ends of the plantain and peel (green plantains are much harder to peel).
- Cut each plantain at an angle into at least 6 equal pieces or your desired size.
- While the oil is heating up, rinse the plantains and place it on a paper towel to drain.
- Drop one plantain into the oil and see if it sizzles. If it does, then add several more of the plantains, be sure not to crowd the pan. Let them lightly brown for about two minutes each on both sides.
- Keep an eye on the plantains, because they cook rather quickly.
- Once they are lightly brown, transfer them to the paper towels to drain.
- Now, put the salt in the cup of water to make salted water. Make sure it’s not too salty.
- On a flat surface, use the plantain presser to flatten the plantains and to shape them
- Or you can use a spatula to flatten the plantains
- Be sure not to press too hard, because it will break them and lose its shape.
- Soak the flatten plantain into the salted water for a few seconds for flavor
- Put the plantains back into the oil to fry a second time for at least two minutes on each side or until desired crisp and browning.
- Lastly, take plantain out of oil and drain on paper towel and serve hot.
*Tip: When using sweet plantains, the process is quicker, because they cook faster.
Now, these two figures shows you what the final product should look like. The picture on the left is the green plantains (Bannann Peze) and the spicy pickled slaw (Pikliz). Whereas the picture on the right is the sweet plantain that have been fried. To have the full effect of a Haitian cuisine, fry some chicken or pork and cook some rice with a watermelon soda or lemonade on the side and you will be good to go. Enjoy!
How To Make Haitian Pikliz (Picklese). | CaribbeanPot.com. (n.d.). Retrieved June 12, 2015, from http://caribbeanpot.com/how-to-make-haitian-piklizpicklese/