Pink pickled onions are a traditional condiment found on just about every dining table on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

We first tasted these in 1989 at a little taco truck on the beach at Cabo Can Lucas, Baja California. The vendor made us promise we wouldn’t let his abuelita (grandma) know that he had given us the recipe. The flavour is as perky as the colour with a pleasing heat. They bring brightness, zest and crunch to any meal.


  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons Kosher salt
  • Pinch of Mexican oregano
  • ¼ Habanero or Scotch Bonnet Chili


  1. Combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt and oregano in a medium bowl. Whisk together until sugar and salt is fully dissolved.

  2. Put your chili in the bottom of a jar (I like to use a mason jar) and fill with sliced onions.

  3. Pour vinegar mixture over the onions and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour for immediate results. Or, cover jar and place in refrigerator for at least 1 day. Pickled onions will last for a few weeks stored in the refrigerator.

  4. Use pickled onions to top salads, nachos, tacos, nachos, grilled fish, or just about anything else.

Personally, I eat them straight out of the jar!
Note: Using a habanero would be more traditional but a Scotch Bonnet will work too.