Have you ever had chicharrón de chile serrano (crispy serrano peppers)? They are little serrano pepper rounds, fried in oil with garlic until the skins crinkle and become crunchy. They have a delightfully crispy texture and are wicked hot. Here I teach you just how easy it is to make these spicy, crispy peppers at home!
I have noticed recently in the little specialty stores here in central Mexico jars of “chicharrones de chiles.” Maybe you’ve seen these too in your local store or from specialty stores online.
These crispy chiles are made with a variety of peppers, but I specifically remember one that my husband brought home of crispy serrano peppers. They were crunchy (like a chicharrón), oily and spicy! I was hooked and knew that I could recreate this recipe with a bit of practice.
Once you make these, you will have crispy serrano chile slices perfect for topping your favorite Mexican foods. Plus, the spicy oil from frying the chiles is great for drizzling on top of pizza, salad, beans, or even steak to give foods an extra kick!
Here, I share with you just how easy it is to make these crispy serrano peppers are home! Ready to get started?
What’s in crispy serrano peppers?
- serrano peppers
- garlic cloves
- vegetable oil
Be sure to check the recipe card for the ingredient quantities and instructions!
Change the chile pepper
We use a lot of serrano chile peppers in our house, but if you prefer the taste or heat of a different chile, this process should work with other pepper varieties too! I have seen these “chicharrones” made with habanero peppers and I bet jalapeño peppers would work well too if you wanted something a bit milder.
You could even use dried chiles for this application, like chile guajillo or chile pasilla. We fry dried pasilla chiles to use as a garnish in tortilla soup!
Each chile pepper will provide its own unique taste, so feel free to experiment and see what you like best!
How to make crispy serrano peppers step-by-step
The process for making these is relatively straightforward. You will want to use a non-stick skillet and enough oil to keep the peppers from sticking. I found 1/3 cup to be the right amount for me. You may need a bit more or less, depending on the size of your skillet and how much oil you want leftover for your peppers.
Once the oil is hot, add in the chiles. I like to keep these in a single layer to ensure that they are crisping up evenly. I stir them occasionally and watch for them to start to change color. This doesn’t take long, about 3 minutes or so on medium heat.
At this point, I like to turn the heat down to low and add in the garlic. You want to keep them frying gently until the garlic is golden and the chiles turn a dark golden brown. You want a crispy texture so you have a nice crunch when you bite into these!
Once these are cooked crispy and golden brown, remove them from the pan and place them into a serving bowl to cool. I like to keep the peppers in a bit of oil, but you could remove them entirely from the oil if desired. Add salt to taste.
This amount only yields about 1/2 cup, but because they are wicked hot, I only need a few at a time to really spice up a meal.
What is chicharrón?
Chicharrón is fried pork skin. The process to make chicharrón is long and involved, requiring removing the hair from the pig, cutting the skin away from the meat, cutting incisions into the skin, drying it, frying it, and frying it again. Rest assured, however, that no pigs were harmed while making this recipe!
Why are these called “chicharrón”?
I call this “chicharrón” to allude to the fact that the chiles are fried until crispy, like fried pork skin. This recipe, unlike traditional chicharrón, is completely vegan.
I have seen “chicharrones” made with chiles available at specialty stores and online. This recipe is my make-at-home version of “chicharrones de chiles”!
If you are looking for other salsa recipes, try these favorites!
Did you make these crispy serrano peppers? Let me know how they turned out in the comments below!
Chicharrón de Chile Serrano (Crispy Serrano Peppers)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil I use safflower or canola
- 7 serrano peppers, sliced into thin rounds about 2/3 cup (~2 ounces or 60g whole peppers)
- 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- Salt to taste
- Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat, about 4 minutes1/3 cup vegetable oil
- Add the serrano peppers, stirring occasionally and keeping the chiles in one layer to cook evenly. Reduce the heat to low once the chiles start to change color, about 2-3 minutes7 serrano peppers, sliced into thin rounds
- Add garlic and continue to fry over low heat until the chiles and garlic are golden and crispy, about another 4 minutes1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- Remove from heat to a serving bowl and allow to cool
- Add salt to tasteSalt to taste
(The below nutrition label is included as a courtesy. Our terms and conditions explain our nutrition policy.)