Roasting fresh chiles releases their natural flavor compounds.
Fresh chiles tend to bring bright, floral notes to food. Roasting them breaks down their cell walls, releasing more flavor compounds and caramelizing their sugars, which results in a deeper, nuttier taste. But to capitalize on roasted taste, don’t rub off skins under water. In tests, we’ve found this washes away flavor.
Small chiles, like jalapeños, can be quickly roasted over a gas burner—but it’s a chore to do them one at a time. Here’s how we made the process more efficient.