Seeding and Dicing a Jalapeño (or Other Small Chile)

Whether you cook Mexican food all the time or only once in a while, chances are that as some point you will need to seed and dice one or more jalapeño, serrano, or other small, green chiles. Here’s the basic process explained and illustrated, so you can do this work in an efficient manner and end up with an attractive product.

Note: Small green chiles vary widely in their level of piquancy, but they can be extremely spicy. Always wear rubber gloves when working with peppers that are very hot...MORE (such as habaneros) or about which you are not certain of the level of hotness.

Regardless of whether or not you are wearing gloves, never touch your face or eyes when working with chiles, and never bend over a pot or skillet in which hot peppers are cooking.

Learn about different types of Mexican green chiles

This is a great way to remove the seeds from a hot pepper while minimizing contact with the seeds and not having the chile squirt at you while trying to scrape the seeds out:

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    Slice off the tip

    To make the chile more stable while you are cutting it, slice off a small amount of the tip. (Some people cut the stem end off, but I don´t recommend that—you’ll see why in the next step.)

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    Slice off the flesh

    Insert your knife in the top of the pepper, blade down, and slice the flesh off of the chile in a downward curve. (See why we didn’t chop off the stem end?)

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    Keep slicing

    Continue to slice the flesh off in downward strokes until all of the flesh is removed from the pepper, leaving only the seeds and stem behind.

    Discard the stem and discard(or save for another use) the seeds.

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    Slice the chile strips lengthwise

    Lay the pieces of chile flesh down in a row, skin side down.

    Slice the strips into match-stick sized strips.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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    Slice the strips again to create the dice

    Now slice the strips in the opposite direction (crosswise) to create little cubes.

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    Your diced chile is now ready

    The chile is now beautifully and expertly cut, ready to be used in any Mexican (or other) recipe calling for seeded and diced jalapeño, serrano, or other small green chile.

    Use your seeded and diced hot pepper as a main ingredients in delicious concoctions such as Basic Pico de Gallo Salsa, as a secondary ingredient in Spicy Mexican Rice and other similar preparations, or as a garnish to things like Chicken Avocado Soup.