A Little Chili: Jalapeño Tips and Tricks

Are jalapeños the spice of life? If you put fresh tomatillo salsa in front of us, we may be inclined to agree. The popular pepper has bigger dreams than salsa though, and often adds complexity to dishes far beyond its Mexican heritage. The next time you’re feeling a little chili, looks to these tips for information and inspiration.

  • Need help determining the heat of your jalapeño? As a general rule, green jalapeños will be the mildest while red are the hottest, but there are a number of additional factors discussed here that affect heat.
  • Stay sweet. Jalapeños pair very well with chocolate, as the relatively mellow spice of green jalapeños amplifies the chocolate’s flavor rather than overpowering it. Use dark chocolate in your jalapeño dessert though, as some of the more delicate flavors of milk chocolate can get lost in the shuffle.
  • In the grand scheme of the culinary world, jalapeños are undoubtably one of the more approachable peppers. This makes them a lot more versatile than some of their spicier relatives, as they add heat to a dish instead of making the dish about the heat. With this in mind, try adding jalapeños to both sweet and savory dishes! We love tossing a few into marmalade, hummus, or chocolate ice cream!
  • Looking for an easy way to remove the seeds? Try cutting around the core. This will separate the seeds and stem from the rest of your pepper, and seriously cut down on your prep time. However, we’d still recommend keeping the seeds to add to dishes that need a little extra zing.
    • Contact with jalapeño oil during preparation can irritate or even burn your skin. If this is the case, soak the irritated section skin with milk to alleviate the pain. To be safe, always wear gloves when slicing jalapeños.