Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Padron peppers

My first date with my husband was at Fino in Soho. I drank too much because I was over-excited and because this was the first date I'd been on with someone who had a job and was paying for everything. The only thing that really stands out is when I keeled over gently sideways in the booth and had a short nap while my date went to the loo.

Actually that's not the only thing I remember. I remember the plate of padron peppers we had, fried until they looked like little crumpled green bags, and covered in salt.

"Sometimes you get a really hot one," said my date. Whether I did or I didn't, I don't know. I was so drunk I could have been eating my own dress and not noticed.

Anyway, you don't often see these in the shops. I bought a couple of handfuls from my local holy food shop, Earth, on Kentish Town Road. They're pretty easy to cook, although they take longer than you think they do, about 20 minutes.

If you can't locate a local supply you can buy them online here.

1 Heat some vegetable oil in a pan until it's very hot, tip the peppers in and then turn the heat down to medium.
2 Cook over a medium or low heat for about 20 minutes, turning now and again until they sort of surrender and crumple up.
3 Tip into a bowl and sprinkle generously with sea salt

Watch out because sometimes you really do get an awfully hot one. I got one yesterday and had to spit it out. It was pretty gross.

You are supposed to eat these with a very cold glass of fino sherry, but fino sherry tastes like pencil shavings and not everyone's crazy about it. But my experience is that if you drink enough fino sherry, it ceases to taste like anything at all.


  1. Oh my god, ever since I was introduced to these at Barrafina I've been obsessed with them. And an online link to buy them!!! Thank you, I will be sure to name my first born after you.

  2. Yes "RecipeRifle Frugal" has a nice ring to it. Registrar might give you a funny look but fuck em.

  3. I LOVE padron peppers so much. That online link leads to 7 padron peppers in a £2.40 bag - you can buy a far heftier bag in Brindisa's shop for around £3.50.

    1. Or you can get a tiny plate of them at La Tasca for £7 and never get a hot one?

  4. Yes, there are absolutely cheaper places to buy Padron peppers - but, for example, Brindisa doesn't have any stores outside London.

    Buying online is probably more for those folk who live, for example, in small villages outside Exeter and, alas, have to cough up a bit extra to purchase exotic things like this online...

  5. I always get all the hot ones.
    My favourite ones are from Iberica at Great Portland Street. A bit At Dente and you don't have to worry about the hot ones as I am sure I will get them all

  6. Bigger and cheaper bags avail at Garcia on Portobello Rd, along with anything else Spanish you might need or want. Admittedly it's for westsiders only, but there ain't much I wouldn't do for padrones.