One of the best mild chili peppers on the planet just got a little better.
That’s right, you can eat jalapeno leaves! These peppers belong to the Capsicum annuum species — a group of pepper plants that has leaves that are safe to eat. If anyone tells you otherwise, just tell them to talk to the thousands of people in the Philippines, China, Korea, etc. that have been eating these leaves for years. With that said, you should always cook the pepper leaves!
And eat just a little bit the first time you try this new food.
Okay, so how should you prepare jalapeno leaves? First, choose leaves that look healthy and green. Next, choose your cooking method! You can boil, steam, sauté, etc. You’re welcome to eat the cooked leaves in a simple way, with a bit of rice and a dash of your favorite Mad Dog 357 hot sauce. The leaves taste similar to spinach, with a subtle heat.
If you’re looking to try something new, you can choose a recipe that uses jalapeno leaves. Tinola is a Filipino chicken soup bursting will all kinds of flavors. We’re talking ginger, garlic, lemongrass, and other ingredients that will warm you right up. Or, whip up a quick yet flavorful stir fry to go with your favorite meat or tofu dish.
If you’re taking leaves off your own pepper plants, remember to not take off too many at once. Without enough leaves to photosynthesize, your plant will struggle to grow strong and give you any jalapenos. You can also eat other types of chili pepper leaves if you don’t have any jalapenos at home.