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Wow family and dinner guests with a classic tapa courtesy of our Spanish Padron peppers recipe, and fall in love with their charred, crispy texture and sweet, herby, and salty flavor that electrifies your lips and tastebuds from the moment of contact.
Spanish Padron Peppers Recipe
Beloved and devoured across Spain, Padron peppers are a great introduction to Spanish tapas. This recipe is a classic way to prepare these pointy green peppers, bringing some delightful Mediterranean flair and flavor to your home kitchen.
What are Spanish Padron Peppers (Pimientos de Padron)?
Named after their home municipality of Padrón, these small, curved, pocket-sized peppers are known for their mild, sweet, and nutty flavor. Not renowned for their heat, some Padron peppers can in fact be quite hot, which has, in time, led to the term “Os pementos de Padrón, uns pican e outros non,” quite literally meaning “some are hot, some are not.”
Commonly picked and eaten when green, you can eat these peppers raw. However, frying them in olive oil until they blister is the best way to prepare these peppers and really bring out those delightful flavors.
These variations are not seen as traditional ways to prepare Padron peppers as a tapa. However, if you want to experiment, some of these ideas may pique your culinary intrigue.
Shishito peppers: Can’t find Padron peppers? East Asian shishito peppers are often prepared in a similar way, fried in oil until they blister. These peppers also closely resemble the Padron pepper in both appearance and color.
Stuffed peppers: You may need some surgeon-like precision here, but despite their size, some people do use Padron peppers in stuffed pepper recipes. You can cut them open, clean out the seeds, and add little pockets of breadcrumbs, crumbled cheese, or minced meat, among other fillings.
Lemon juice: Some people like to add a splash of lemon juice for citrussy notes and a little extra acidity.
To make our classic Padron peppers recipe, you’ll only need three ingredients:
- Padron Peppers – 1 lb (450 grams)
- Olive Oil – 3 tbsp
- Sea Salt Flakes – 1 tsp Maldon salt (or to taste)
Step 1 – Wash and pat dry the Padron peppers.
Step 2 – Add the peppers to a bowl and add 3 tbsp of olive oil, coating them well.
Step 3 – Preferably in a cast-iron pan (or a stainless steel pan) over medium-high heat, add the Padron peppers.
To stop the oil from splashing, you can put a splatter screen over the top of your pan.
Step 4 – Cook the peppers until soft and blistered/charred (about 5-7 minutes), turning them as necessary to make sure they’re charred on all sides.
Be warned, because the sound of the sizzling and the blistering of the skin is incredibly hypnotic!
Step 5 – Finish with sea salt flakes as soon as you get them out of the pan. I like to toss them in a large bowl with the sea salt flakes to make sure every single one of those peppers has some delicious sea salt flakes on it.
Step 6 – Serve immediately in a tapas bowl, and finish with a final sprinkle of Maldon salt for good measure.
You really can keep it this simple with Padron peppers. Their smoky, sweet flavor and charred, crispy texture make them ideal for a bite-sized snack.
If you’re looking for a few ideas, consider some of these serving pairings:
Tapas – You should definitely get some type of Spanish-themed night arranged, and serve up a number of classic tapas dishes as part of a big spread that your dinner guests can try and dig into. This is great for gatherings where people will be drinking and talking, and not all sat down for a formal meal together.
Stuffed – Mentioned in the variations section, Padron peppers can be opened and stuffed with the likes of minced meat, breadcrumbs, and cheese, if you wanted to get a little more creative.
Battered – Padron peppers, as with many other peppers, can very much be coated in batter and fried.
Seafood – Padron peppers in this classic tapas style are a great pairing for baked and grilled seafood, such as sea bass or mackerel.
There’s just so much depth to the flavor of these unique little peppers. Once you’ve tried them, you’ll straight away understand why they are so popular throughout Spain.
Spanish food, much like many Mediterranean cuisines, is all about keeping things simple. Sometimes two or three ingredients, used in the right way, are all it takes to make a truly mouthwatering dish.
Spanish Padron Peppers Recipe Card
- 1 lb (450 grams) padron peppers
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes (such as Maldon)
- Wash and pat dry the Padron peppers.
- Add the peppers to a bowl and add 3 tbsp of olive oil, coating them well.
- Preferably in a cast-iron pan (or a stainless steel pan) over medium-high heat, add the Padron peppers. To stop the oil from splashing, you can put a splatter screen over the top of your pan.
- Cook the peppers until soft and blistered/charred (about 5-7 minutes), turning them as necessary to make sure they're charred on all sides.
- Finish with sea salt flakes as soon as you get them out of the pan. I like to toss them in a large bowl with the sea salt flakes to make sure every single one of those peppers has some delicious sea salt flakes on it.
- Serve immediately in a tapas bowl, and finish with a final sprinkle of sea salt flakes for good measure.
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