Fried Habanero Poppers

This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors (yellow, orange, green, red, chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique, distinctively fruity flavor. It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.

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12-15 fresh Habanero Peppers

1 cup cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

The Batter:

2 cups panko bread crumbs

1-1/2 cup water

1 cup flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

A pinch of salt & pepper

Canola oil, for frying

Ranch or Blue Cheese for dipping



Slice a small slit on one side of each pepper just enough to stuff them, making sure not to go all the way through.

In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese and cheddar and any other desired spices. Set aside.

In a medium/large bowl combine all of the above “batter” ingredients,  and mix well.  Set aside.

Pour the panko into a shallow bowl..set aside.

Gently and carefully fill each pepper with some of the cream cheese mixture.

Dip each filled Pepper into the batter, making sure to leave the stem clean.

Roll the peppers around in the panko…get a nice and even coating onto them.

Carefully heat the oil to 350 degrees.

Gently place a couple peppers into the hot oil and carefully roll them around to evenly brown them.  Take them out when they’re golden and firm, let them drain on paper towel. Continue with the rest. Serve with dipping sauce (a dairy-based one like Blue Cheese or Ranch is recommended).

Adapted from a recipe from Oh, Bite It! 2014.