Learn how to cut jalapenos with this simple step-by-step guide. The hot jalapeno pepper can be diced, cubed, minced, chopped, divided, or roasted according to the recipe.
Cutting or roasting the jalapenos without hurting yourself needs simple tricks and a plan.
This guide helps you understand the jalapeno pepper's framework better and enables you to chop without burning yourself.
Some of you asked if we need a post titled How to cut jalapeno peppers. The answer is yes. Those with kitchen skills may be aware of the jalapeno's heat. And for some who hands got experienced handling the spices.
This post is for the people, who want to know how to slice or cut the jalapeno peppers properly without any skin burns. The following instructions work for all types of peppers.
You might need a slice of jalapeno to spice up your drink. Or you may need just the jalapeno meat to flavor up your salsa. On the other hand, some may have plenty in the garden. Whatever the reason, we all want to know the best way to cut the jalapeno without the hot pepper burn.
Why do we need prepping gloves?
The jalapeno peppers are hot and the seeds contain pepper oil called Capsaicin. To our surprise, this capsaicin does not dissolve in water. It turns out it is hard to get rid of this when it comes in contact with the skin.
Depending on the skin type, it may give a burning sensation for anywhere between 2-6 hours. The good news is that this total problem is easily avoided just by wearing a pair of gloves. Do not touch your face or eyes after handling.
And this applies to all other hot chili pepper varieties, including the jalapeno peppers.
Does everyone need gloves?
Not everyone, the prepping gloves are advisable for sensitive skin. Those you have worked with the peppers before and are comfortable with may not require it. I have been in the kitchen working with peppers for decades; my skin got used to this pepper oil.
If you are not wearing gloves, never touch your eyes or face, at least for an hour. The hot pepper oil's unique properties may present in your hand even after watering your hands.
What makes the jalapeno pepper hot?
Before getting into the cutting chapter, let's learn the primary heat sources of jalapeno. The seeds and the white membrane hold most of the heat. And the top portion of the jalapeno flesh is hotter than the bottom portions.
So, proper care is needed when dealing with the seeds and the rib.
Why and how to how to deseed?
Removing the seeds is done to remove the heat in a recipe. It is an essential step in learning how to cut jalapeno peppers. We usually remove the seeds in any recipe and add them later to suit our family's heat preference. This gives us more control in deciding the food's spice level.
The seeds can be removed in two ways.
Scooping out. For this divide, the jalapeno into two is lengthwise. Use a spoon to gently glide it from the top to the bottom by applying slight pressure. Repeat once or twice until all the seeds are scooped out.
We aim to scoop the links between the white membrane and the green wall. A melon corer works great on scooping out jalapenos heat.
Coring out. Make a slice of jalapeno meat lengthwise without touching the seeds. Then, place them on the cutting board and gently continue slicing them around the rib and the seeds. This way, the seeds are placed intact with the ribs. This turns out to be an easy way when tried a couple of times.
Sharp knife. I prefer this knife and like most from this brand.
Cutting board. I use this and happy with it so far.
Prepping gloves. Prepping gloves, like these latex gloves or vinyl gloves, would work great.
How to cut jalapeno
We may need the jalapeno pepper in different shades and sizes, depending on the recipe. Round slices are required to make pickle recipes or for garnishing. Likewise, we need them as minced, chopped, or diced to suit our main dish.
Run the knife breadthwise and cut into slices evenly. This is great for making pickles or garnishing food like cornbread. The discs hold the rib, and most seeds automatically loosen from its rib and fall apart. So, this cutting method would be best for recipes requiring jalapeno flavors and heat.
This half-moon cut is also done in two styles, with and without seeds. For the spicy version, slit the jalapeno into two, and slice them into a semi-circle with the seeds and ribs on. This is good for making salad or sandwiches for the concentrated heat.
Cut the jalapeno into two for the non-spicy version and core the seeds completely. Then, slice them into semi-circles. Since the roots and the ribs are removed, this serves as a flavoring agent with mild heat.
Great for making salad or stir-fries. Makes the food look appetized with its bright green color. To remove the seeds, chop them into squares with a sharp knife. They decide the size of the dice according to the recipe.
This is for mild heat and more flavor. Best for stir-fries or soups. To make a perfect match-stick jalapeno, core the seeds as mentioned above, and cut them thinly along the length.
An Ideal addition in most spicy recipes like this is a Jalapeno peanut brittle. Remove the seeds, and mince them finely using a knife, or a food processor works excellent here. Add some seeds to increase the heat.
How to store cut jalapeno?
Store the leftovers in an air-sealed container in the refrigerator to use within 3 days.
Or freeze to use for 2 months. But note that freezing may soften the flesh of the jalapeno pepper.
For more jalapeno recipes,
Recommended tools for making this recipe
Chef’s Knife. The star of the show for chopping and dicing your jalapenos.
Cutting Board. A sturdy cutting board provides the perfect platform for cutting jalapenos.
Rubber Gloves: An essential safety measure when handling spicy jalapenos. They protect your hands from the burning capsaicin.