When it comes to spicy jalapeños, sometimes a rough chop simply won't do, and a recipe will call for a dramatic, precise cut like a fine brunoise or 1/8-inch cubes. Chopping jalapeños into small, uniform shapes ensures that the heat is evenly distributed throughout a dish, so no one ends up with a cough-inducing bite. Before you begin working with jalapeños, always wear powder-free disposable gloves, so the capsaicin (the spicy component of the pepper) does not burn your hands. Now that you're hands are protected, let's get down to business and cut a fine brunoise.
The Right Way to Cut Jalapeños
- Cut the stems off the pepper and slice it in half. Use your gloved fingers to strip the seeds and white ribs off the pepper. With the palm of your hand, press the pepper halves down into the cutting board so they are as flat as possible.
- Cut the pepper lengthwise, into a julienne, or long, thin strips that are 1/8-inch wide.
- Turn the julienne strips 45 degrees, so you can cut the bunch widthwise into 1/8-inch cubes.
Show off your small dice by adding your jalapeños to guacamole or pepper jelly.