Use a little heat to turn peppers into a treat

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The Yomiuri ShimbunPeppers can enhance the color of main dishes, but using them merely for decoration can be such a waste. They’re very tasty when prepared the right way.

Food coordinator Rie Ushio recommends some pepper recipes, including one that calls for them to be grilled on a fish grill before peeling off the skin.

“Peppers are tasty raw. For example, fresh peppers can be sliced and tossed into a salad. But cooking them helps bring out their sweet flavor,” Ushio said.

Marinated peppers

By using red, yellow and orange peppers, marinated dishes become colorful.

Quarter peppers vertically and remove hulls and seeds. Put them on a grill and grill them until their skin darkens. Remove and let them cool until you are able to handle them. Remove the skin, which can be peeled off easily by tearing it from a well-done portion.

Cut peppers into one-centimeter-wide pieces. Prepare marinade by blending one tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice, curry powder, two-thirds of a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper. Add minced Italian parsley and peppers to the marinade.

“Peeling off the skin enhances the flavor of the peppers,” Ushio said.

As the outside of the peppers softens after being cooked, the texture becomes uniform by removing the skin. Curry powder works to bring out the sweetness of peppers, and the lemon’s aroma complements them.

Chicken with pepper sauce

This is another dish Ushio recommends. The process is the same as in the marinated pepper recipe until the skin is peeled off.

Prepare a sauce by blending peppers, fresh cream, grated garlic, one tablespoon of olive oil, half a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper in a food processor. Check the flavor to make sure it suits your taste.

If a food processor is not available, chop peppers finely with a kitchen knife and blend with other ingredients. If peppers are chopped, the stickiness that results works to blend and thicken the ingredients.

Use a fork to prod the skin side of the chicken in several places and sprinkle half a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper on the chicken to season it. Put the meat in a heated frying pan with the skin side down and cook using a medium heat. When it turns light brown, flip and cook until done. Place it on a plate and garnish with watercress. Drizzle pepper sauce over the top.

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  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

    Grill peppers thoroughly and remove skin.

  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

    Chop peppers finely and mash into paste form but allow some chunks to remain.

Red sauce is dazzling to the eyes. The sauce tends to take on the color of the peppers. As peppers and garlic constitute the basic tastes, the flavor of the peppers can really be enjoyed.

It is a good idea to make a lot of sauce and freeze some of it. “The sauce goes well with sauteed pork or white fish. It also is a good match with tofu steaks,” Ushio said. “If the sauce is poured on lightly baked mozzarella cheese, it becomes a perfect relish with wine.”

As Japan imports a large quantity of peppers, they are available throughout the year. Red and orange peppers add an autumn air to dishes.


(Serves 4)

Marinated peppers

3 large peppers (1 each of red, yellow, orange)

2 tsp lemon juice

½ tsp curry powder

5 stalks Italian parsley

Sauteed chicken with pepper sauce

1 large red pepper

1 tbsp fresh cream or milk

½ clove grated garlic

2 chicken thighs (300 grams each)


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