Perfect Padron Peppers
Ahhh one of Spain’s national treasures. These perfect Padron Peppers are one of my absolute favorite tapas, and I like to think I know a thing or two about that subject. The funny thing is, when I wrote The Comprehensive Guide To Tapas In Granada, I wasn’t actually able to put padron peppers in, as no bar I found served them. It must be more of a Madrid thing, as Granada tends to be more competitive when it comes to tapas.
If you are apprehensive about this recipe because you are not a fan of spicy foods, no need to worry. These peppers may look like a jalapeno, but they have all the spice of a bell pepper. That being said, they are just bursting with a great flavor that is even moreso enhanced by blistering them. There are two different ways I will cook these. One is straight over the fire held with some metal tongs, and the other is fried in olive oil.
For this recipe, there is actually only three ingredients, can you guess what they are? If not no matter, it’s simply the padron peppers, olive oil, and salt. Sounds easy right? I think these are not just easy, but also fun to make as there’s something exciting watching the skin of the peppers blister and crack. Ok, maybe I’m just a bit weird in the kitchen.
Perfect Padron Peppers Ingredients
500 grams Padron Peppers. These are quite popular in Europe, but if you cannot find them, you can substitute with Japanese shishito peppers. They are slightly different, but they’ll cook the same and still be delicious.
2 tbsp Olive Oil.
Salt; to taste
Perfect Padron Peppers Instructions
1. In a saute pan add the olive oil and turn the heat on high. I know olive oil has a low smoke point. Just ignore that for a moment and turn on your vent. This will sputter and pop so wear an apron and a long sleeve shirt you don’t care about.
2. Once the olive oil starts to smoke add all the padron peppers. When you start to hear pops (almost immediately) start agitating the pan. Shake it around until all the peppers have blistered. You can give it a toss or two if you can, to check that all sides are charred a bit.
3. Put the peppers on a plate and sprinkle with salt. I used some Mediterranean flaky sea salt, but any large crystal salt should be fine.
If this seems like an annoyingly specific recipe, it is. However, this is the best way I’ve found to make perfect padron peppers every time. Some may say, why Cody…why didn’t you use sunflower oil, or something with a higher smoke point. The truth is I’ve tried it with both canola and avocado oil, and it just isn’t as good in my opinion. Something about almost burning the olive oil whilst frying the peppers gives it an absolutely fantastic flavor, and they cook perfectly every time.