Fry up these mini Padrón peppers (pimientos de padrón) in minutes for a delicious, smoky, charred flavor and a chance of spicy heat. This recipe takes under 10 minutes to make from scratch with just 3 ingredients (salt and oil included!) - for a gluten-free, vegetarian, paleo, keto, low-carb, vegan appetizer, side dish, or snack!
First, clean and dry the peppers. Make sure to pat them dry well with a kitchen towel.
Heat a large skillet over high heat with olive oil. Once hot, add the peppers in a single layer, so they don't overlap.
Cook for 4-6 minutes turning the peppers mid-time. They should cook quite fast as the oil should be very hot. 2-3 minutes on each side maximum until blistered, charred, and beginning to shrivel is more than enough.Top Tip: Make sure not to move the peppers around while cooking too much, or you won't get the amazingly tasty blistered, charred skin. Once blistered, toss them a few times and they're ready.
Once ready, remove from the heat and (optionally) place on a paper towel to absorb excess oil - though they can also be served alongside the oil (plus extra, if preferred).
Sprinkle with the salt. Optionally, drizzle some lemon juice then serve immediately.
How To Store
These peppers are best eaten immediately, while warm for the best textural results. However, any leftovers can be stored and reheated for up to two days.This isn't something I've had to do, so I'm not entirely sure of the results. Though, I suspect re-heating them in a pan with a little oil will work well.
Where can you find Padron peppers? The peppers are in season May-September and can be found in some grocery stores and many farmers' markets. However, they are usually available year-round in the US, imported from Mexico (check wholefoods).
What peppers can I substitute in this recipe? Shishito peppers are the closest relation, have a similar 'surprise' heat element, and are more readily available (in the US at least). Another option includes Anaheim chilies, though they are spicier.
Are there alternative cooking methods? You can roast these peppers in the oven by tossing them in olive oil and then roasting for 8-10 minutes at 425ºF/220ºC, turning once halfway through. You could also grill the peppers or even deep fry them, though these aren't methods that I've tried.
Can you eat the seeds? Yes - hold the stalk and then eat the entire pepper, seeds and all, just leaving the stalk behind.
This recipe can also easily be adapted to stuffed mini peppers by slicing the peppers in half lengthwise and filling with your ingredients of choice (like cheese or herby cream cheese) and then roasting using the method above.
You can use smoked salt or even a pinch of smoked paprika, for extra smoky flavor.
Coarse sea salt (like Maldon's) is best for adding a crunchy texture and a burst of flavor.
As well as serving alone, you can also toss these flavorful peppers into salads and pasta dishes.