Cheese-stuffed Bell PeppersBy
Prepare the bell peppers
- Grill the bell peppers directly over fire until the skins are black.
- Turn them over every half minute or so so that the skins char as evenly as possible.
- Place the hot roasted peppers in a container with an airtight lid (a resealable plastic bag will do as well).
- Cover and allow to steam for anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. This process makes the peppers blister so that the skins separate from the flesh.
Prepare the stuffing
- Finely slice the scallions.
- Finely chop the bird’s eye chilies and red onion.
- Grate the cheese.
- Place the cheese, onion leaves, onion and chilies in a bowl. Season with some salt and pepper. Toss to distribute the ingredients evenly.
Stuff the bell peppers
- Take the bell peppers out of the container and peel off the skins.
- Using a sharp pointed knife, slit one side of the bell pepper.
- Now, this is where it gets a little tricky. Using a teaspoon, scoop out the seeds and membranes. Do it delicately as the flesh of the bell peppers are already soft and they tear easily.
- Stuff the peppers with the cheese filling. I did this by hand, pushing small amount of stuffing into each pepper little by little.
Fry the cheese-stuffed bell peppers
- Start heating the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan.
- Create your assembly line. Place the flour on a plate. Beat the egg in a shallow bowl. Pour the panko on another plate. Place all three — flour, egg and panko — side by side.
- Holding the stuffed pepper by the stem, dredge in flour, shaking off the excess.
- Dip the floured pepper in the beaten egg, making sure that every inch of the surface is coated.
- Roll the pepper in panko, again making sure that every inch of the surface is coated.
- Fry the stuffed and breaded bell peppers in hot oil (see notes after the recipe), no more than three or four at a time to prevent the temperature of the oil from dropping too much.
- Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the fried bell peppers and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels or napkins.
- Serve the very hot cheese-stuffed bell peppers a la chili relleno with chunky tomato sauce on the side for dipping.