Knife Skills: How to Seed Peppers the Easy Way

Knife Skills

Videos and step-by-step guides, each highlighting an essential knife technique.

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[Photograph and video: J. Kenji López-Alt]

I go through a ton of fresh green chilies in my kitchen, whether for pozole, chile verde, or just a basic charred green salsa. And, while I've written in the past about the best way to peel whole charred chilies using the "chili tea" method (here's a recap if you're unfamiliar), I realized I hadn't yet tackled the best way to prepare whole fresh chilies destined for sautéing or simmering.

This past year, I was turned on to a technique for prepping bell peppers by holding them vertically and slicing off the sides in large planks with a chef's knife. It's neat because it simultaneously removes the seeds, core, stem, and ribs, leaving behind only juicy flesh. I wondered if the same technique would work on fresh hot chilies, like jalapeños, Anaheims, and Poblanos. Turns out it works just swimmingly. Check out the video for a demonstration. (Unfortunately, this doesn't work quite as well on small or delicate chilies, like serranos or habaneros.)