It's National Pepper Month!
Whether they’re in sauces, soups, or stir-fries, peppers (and chiles) are indispensable partners to all types of seafood dishes. November is National Pepper Month and we’ve put together a list of our favorite seafood recipes featuring these amazing capsicum.
Many Latin American cuisines, from regional Mexican and Peruvian to Caribbean and beyond, rely heavily on peppers and chiles. Tacos, tostadas, ceviches, and sopas are just a few traditional dishes that feature fresh and dried peppers.
- Mexican-Style Ceviche (Aguachile) Ceviche is a raw or lightly cured seafood dish that originated in Peru and Ecuador. This aguachile version from Mexico — which translates to “chile water” — uses a blend of fresh jalapeños or serranos, aromatics, and a touch of water to marinate sweet spot shrimp.
- Dried chipotle powder — made from smoked, dried jalapeños — adds a smoky heat to shrimp in these satisfyingly spicy Chipotle Shrimp Tostadas
- Crispy Fish Tacos with Creamy Jalapeño-Cilantro Hot Sauce Fresh jalapeños, scallions, cilantro, and a touch of mayo are blended to create a Peruvian-style hot sauce — a perfect tart and spicy condiment for these crispy fried fish tacos.
- Shrimp Tortilla Soup This light but hearty sopa uses homemade shrimp stock as a base and gets plenty of fruity and slightly bitter flavor from poblano chiles. Poblanos can vary in heat, so taste before adding and adjust to suit your preferences. Having a sweet bell pepper on hand as a heat-free substitute is a good kid-friendly dinnertime strategy.
- Coconut and hot peppers, like habanero or Scotch bonnets, figure prominently in cuisines from the Dominican Republic, Belize, and Jamaica, as exemplified by this delightful Caribbean Coconut Seafood Stew
Peppers and chiles are ubiquitous throughout Europe, especially along the Iberian peninsula and across Italy.
- Roasted piquillo peppers from the Navarre region in Spain lend a slightly smoky-sweet flavor and are worth seeking out, but roasted red bell peppers also work well in this Wine-Poached Salmon with Peppers and Leeks.
- Hearty Basque Tuna and Potato Soup includes three different applications of peppers: sautéed bell peppers, smoked paprika, and roasted red peppers in the romesco sauce.
- Pan-Fried Fish Cakes with Romesco Sauce Crispy fried fish cakes are served with a traditional Catalan sauce called romesco, which typically includes roasted peppers and tomatoes, toasted bread, almonds, and plenty of fruity olive oil.
- Grilled Halibut and Vegetables with Salsa Verde A tart and fiery green salsa made with jalapeño and cilantro dresses up simple grilled fish, zucchini, and bell peppers.
- Oven-Poached Salmon with Turkish Spices makes use of three types of peppers: sweet paprika, Aleppo pepper flakes, and sautéed mini sweet bell peppers.
Peppers and chiles are also widely used in many Asian cuisines.
- Sichuan cuisine uses dried red chiles in great abundance and is characteristically quite spicy. This spicy Seafood Dan Dan Noodles recipe uses pre-made chili crisp as part of the sauce. Available at Asian grocers and many supermarkets, chili crisp is a condiment that includes hot chiles, garlic, shallots, oil, and spices like cumin, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorns.
- Bird’s eye chiles, also called Thai chiles, are tiny but pack quite a punch in this Shrimp Pad Thai.
- Cantonese-style Sablefish with Ginger, Soy, and Scallions Cantonese cuisine is not typically spicy, but we’ve added fresh red chiles as a garnish.
- Panang Fish Curry exemplifies Thai cuisine — spicy, rich, and deeply flavorful. Panang curry paste is milder, richer, and sweeter than red curry paste and worth seeking out. It's available at most Asian grocers and online markets.