Thai Stuffed Chili Peppers

Chili lying on a wooden table
Katarina Lofgren/Maskot/Getty Images
  • 25 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: serves 2 to 5

If you like spicy, you'll love these hot red chili peppers! This fun recipe starts with an assortment of chili peppers which are anywhere from 2 - 4 inches long. Experiment with jalapeno, red peppers, or banana peppers (these are especially hot). Stuffed with shrimp or chicken meat plus Thai herbs, these peppers are then dipped in a simple batter and fried. Superb for an appetizer, or enjoy them with a Thai salad for a complete meal!

As a bonus, these chilies can be stuffed ahead of time, then quickly fried when your guests arrive.

What You'll Need

  • 8-10 chilies (with stems, plump enough to stuff (2-4 inches long) - try red hot peppers, jalapeno, banana peppers)
  • 1 cup shrimp (cooked, or 1 cup cooked chicken/turkey - leftover roasted chicken or turkey works well)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 handful peanuts (roasted)
  • 1 galangal (or ginger fresh thumb-size)
  • 2
  • garlic cloves
  • 4 green onions (only the lower "white" part sliced - reserve long green stems for later)
  • 1 egg
  • A handful 
  • coriander (fresh)
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 cup (oil for frying or more as needed - canola works well)
  • For the Batter:
  • 1/2 cup flour (mixed with 1/2 cup water, plus 1/4 tsp. salt)

How to Make It

  1. To clean the peppers, put on a pair of rubber or latex gloves (especially if you wear contact lenses). If you don't want to wear gloves, just be careful not to touch your eyes after handling the chilies (chili oil will stay on your fingers for up to 24 hours).
  2. To slice open the chilies: Make a single cut from just below the stem down to the tip of the chili (be careful not to slice through to the other side). Try to leave the stem on, as this will make the chilies easier to handle, and also the stems are quite decorative.
  1. Gently open up the chili (you may have to tear the top a little to open it). Using a teaspoon, remove the seeds plus the inner lighter-colored rind, leaving the chili empty. Tip: Once you've dug out most of the insides, it helps to run the chili under cold water (opening it, so the water gets inside). This will wash away any seeds that are left. Set cleaned-out chilies aside.
  2. To make the stuffing, place shrimp or chicken, fish sauce, peanuts, galangal (or ginger), garlic, spring onion bulbs (reserve green stems for later), egg, coriander, and black pepper together in a food processor or chopper. Process well. (If you don't have a food processor, mince the herbs, crush the peanuts, and chop up the meat, then mix everything together by hand.)
  3. Using a teaspoon, stuff this mixture into the peppers. Don't over-stuff. The peppers should nearly be able to close.
  4. To keep the peppers from coming open, use the spring onion stems reserved from earlier. Wrap a stem around the middle of each pepper and very gently tie it (if you pull too hard, the stem will break). You don't need to knot the stem - just tighten it and then cut off the excess (if it's too long).
  5. To make the batter, simply mix 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 cup water plus 1/4 tsp. salt. Stir until the batter is more or less smooth. Use a whisk if you have one.
  6. Heat oil in a small frying pan, or in the bottom of your wok. The oil should be at least 1 inch deep. When the oil begins to "snake" (move) across the bottom of the pan, it should be hot enough. If you're not sure, dip an end of one of the peppers into it. If the oil sizzles around it, it's ready.
  1. Turn heat down to medium (around #5-6 on the dial).
  2. Working quickly, dip the stuffed peppers one at a time into the batter and then carefully place them in the hot oil. Allow to cook for at least 3 minutes on each side, or until peppers are golden-brown (they may also start to resemble roasted peppers).
  3. When done, remove and allow to drain on an absorbent towel or paper towel.
  4. Eat the peppers while they're still hot from the pan (or keep warm in the oven until ready to eat). Enjoy as is, or serve with "Thai Sweet Chili Sauce" for dipping (available at nearly any grocery store, or look for it at Asian/Chinese food stores).
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 898
Total Fat 34 g
Saturated Fat 9 g
Unsaturated Fat 12 g
Cholesterol 403 mg
Sodium 1,186 mg
Carbohydrates 28 g
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Protein 115 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)