Resembling jalapeño peppers in appearance, Serrano peppers are actually much hotter than jalapenos in flavor. While they are typically too meaty to successfully dry, Serrano peppers are delicious when minced and used fresh (uncooked) in salads and salsas. Their thin walls leave these peppers with a small bit of crunch before revealing a meaty interior. Since Serrano peppers are best used fresh, proper cutting of the peppers is all that is required for their preparation for use in dishes.
Position the pepper on a chopping board and use an appropriately sharp knife to chop the pepper in half, lengthwise. This should result in two pepper halves, with the seeds of the Serrano pepper evenly distributed in the middle of the interior of both sides.
Use the blade of the knife to carefully scrape out all the seeds on both halves of the pepper since the flavor of the Serrano pepper is strong enough to be tasted without the seeds. This should leave the thin walls of the pepper with a layer of meat attached to them and a hollowed out section in the center of the slices where the seeds once were. Removing the seeds allows the Serrano pepper’s flavor to stay intact without the coarseness of the seeds.
Cutting lengthwise, continue to slice both pepper halves until they are mere slivers of the thickness of the original pepper. Slice the peppers until you are no longer comfortable with slicing them further because of the increased potential of cutting yourself with the blade of the knife.
Cut the pepper slices widthwise while holding all the pepper slices closely together, creating small square-like pieces of the pepper.
Scrape all of the pepper slices into one pile. Use the blade of the knife to rapidly chop the pepper to even smaller bits, with your other hand resting on top (the dull side) of the knife in order to better control it. Alternate the angle of the knife in the pile of peppers during this process, as a way to best chop every piece until properly minced.
Unripe Serranos are green, but the mature versions of these peppers can be red, orange, or yellow hues, creating the possibility of some brightly colored salsas.