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Chile Serrano

Serrano Characteristics
Pronounced: seh-RRAH-noh
Scoville Units:
The Chile Serrano is a small, smooth green chile, mostly rounded but sometimes pointed at the end, with average size of about 1 1/2 inches long and just under 1/2 inch wide. As it matures, its smooth, bright green skin turns scarlet red, then yellow. Serrano literally means from the highland or mountain -- where they are believed to have originated.

When buying fresh serranos, choose firm, heavy, smooth-skinned chiles that are dry (free of moisture). Store fresh chiles wrapped in paper towel in the crisper section of the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks or more.

The seeds and membranes in chiles contain most of the capsaicin, the compound that lends them their mouth-searing qualities. Use caution when handling these chiles. Serranos are hot enough to easily irritate the skin on the hands and it can be painful if their juice comes in contact with the eyes. Wear thin disposable surgical gloves while working with hot chiles, and donít touch your face until the gloves are removed.

Serrano chiles are often used to add considerable heat to salsas and sauces and can be used with or without their seeds. While they do not need to be peeled, these chiles should be roasted before adding to sauces.

Fresh whole chiles
Dried Serranos (Serrano Seco)

Chiles Serrano en Escabeche
Chiles Serrano en Escabeche are whole serrano chiles pickled in vinegar with onions and carrot slices.

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