Some like it hot.

What is it

 A green chilli pepper with a mild heat.

In season

Luckily for us, they’re in season all year round. Fresh jalapenos should be glossy and firm with no soft patches.


Fresh jalapenos should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge and last up to 2 weeks.


Jalapeno is Spanish for ‘from Xalapa’— the pepper’s original home. They’re members of the Nightshade family. Generally, bigger jalapenos are milder. They’re often the least expensive of the fresh peppers at the grocery store. Hot, but not too hot.

Jalapenos account for 30% of Mexico’s chilli production and are loved worldwide. Well, universe-wide: they went up with the Space Shuttle in 1982.

How to cook with jalapenos

Jalapenos add a peppery, floral heat to all they touch. But added to those fatty, cheesy, dairy-heavy dishes, they provide that much-needed pop of acidity. Blitzed, scattered, infused or pickled, they pack the punch we need.


Pickled, jalapenos grow plump with salty vinegar, aromatic with herbs and spices. The eating experience also transforms: they're less crunchy and more of a pop-like squish. Think capers or nicely marinated olives.

Let's get saucy

We had @MexicanFoodMemories come into the OTK to give a class in all things Mexican cuisine. Jalapenos were front and centre. Among the displays of Mexican delights she created, it was the guacamole that stole the show. The secret? Jalapenos.

“Chef, how do you like to enjoy jalapenos?”

Chaya thinks pickled is your best bet. Milli told us about a time she ate a bowl of fried jalapenos as she thought they were padron peppers – she got through the entire bowl before realising.