Don’t freak out. These fried jalapenos are actually very light. They get a gentle dusting of flour and then dive for a brief, but very impactful swim in hot cooking oil. From there they emerge softened and encased in the most delightfully crispy thin coating, eager to absorb any kind of flavored salt you are willing to sprinkle over them.
Of course, Chris and I having a well known preference for hops salt couldn’t resist the temptation to flavor our latest batch of fried jalapenos with Mosaic hops salt.
You can use your favorite flavored salt if hops salt is not your jam but we do urge you to try fried jalapenos with it if you can. It is a very fun pairing experience when the salt is infused with the aromas of the very same hops used to flavor the beer in front of you.
We’d scored Mosaic Basic Bits brewed by Weldwerks Brewing Co. It is not an easy beer to find, even locally (the brewery being less than 25 miles away from us). People buy it all shortly after it is displayed on the cooler shelves of local liquor stores. Getting some is a matter of chance.
Mosaic Basic Bits is an on-rotation offering in the New England IPA style, very hazy and juice like, with a clean and refreshing bitterness and ABV 6.8%. It is extremely potent aroma and flavor wise. Beautifully so. Brewed with 100% Mosaic hops it showcases their bright and juicy tropical and citrus fruit character.
Learn more about the New England IPA style.
Chris happened to have an ounce of Mosaic hops pellets from brewing a pale ale last month and I made hops salt with them when I realized that we have Mosaic Basic Bits. Then it was a matter of selecting a vehicle for the infused salt and you are looking at it:)
Learn How to Make Hops Salt.
Large jalapenos are best suited for this recipe since the rings resulting from smaller ones are trickier to fry to perfection and stand a higher chance of getting burned while you look out the window for a split second.
Slice them thin and then using a small spoon scoop out the ribs and seeds to tune down the heat. How much ribs and seeds you remove is up to you. You are in control of the heat factor and can leave just enough to achieve the spiciness you prefer.
In doing all this don’t forget to wear disposable kitchen gloves for your own protection. You will not be the first person who rubbed her eye after handling jalapenos and not wearing gloves and whose hands felt on fire for hours. Of course it depends on how spicy the particular batch of peppers you have in front of you is, but beware. Hopefully you have already learned this bitter lesson and do not need me to urge you to heed my advice.
For the quantity of fried jalapenos visible in the pictures (plus the more than a few I could not resist munching on while frying) you will need about eight large jalapenos. I’d say that is enough for two people to snack on. Plan accordingly for larger groups and if you have a fryer – use it.
Who knows, you might also share into the joy of being the person who bought the entire quantity of jalapenos displayed in the produce section:). I have on occasion been asked what I needed 4-5 pounds of jalapenos for. Actually, Chris and I also like to roast them and pack them with garlic, dill, parsley, salt and vinegar and keep them in the fridge for general spiciness cravings. So sometimes we buy a few pounds worth.
Dusting the peppers with flour rather than dipping them in a batter prior to frying them is a great way to go, I promise. The jalapenos’ own flavor comes through so elegantly and the crunch of the thin coating is so subtle you might really grow to like this method of frying peppers. I sometimes take two green bell peppers and cut them in long, thin strips and fry them using the same approach to serve as a side to steak or pork tenderloin. They taste much sweeter of course, but the crunch is there as is the unique fried green pepper flavor.
Do try this method – you will not be disappointed!
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- 8 large jalapenos
- 1 cup flour
- 2-3 cups cooking oil, for frying
- hops salt or other flavored salt to taste, for finishing
- Wear protective kitchen gloves before handling the jalapenos.
- Slice the jalapenos in thin rings (about ⅛ inch) and clean out the inside ribs and part (or all) of the seeds with a small spoon.
- Set them aside in a bowl.
- Bring cooking oil to 350°F. Use a deep pot or fryer.
- Using a small strainer dust flour (pretend you are small scale sifting) over the jalapeno rings to coat them with flour. Alternatively, place the flour in a bowl and add a heaping handful of jalapeno rings at a time to coat well with flour. Work in batches either way.
- Add each batch of flour coated jalapenos to the cooking oil and fry until they begin to turn golden. Remove immediately and drain onto a paper towel lined plate.
- Allow to drain for half a minute before sprinkling with hops (or other flavored) salt.
- Proceed with coating the next batch with flour and ensure that the cooking oil is at exactly 350°F before frying them.
- Continue with the steps until you have worked through all the jalapenos.
- Enjoy immediately. Pair with an IPA or pale ale.