Portuguese Jalapeno Poppers

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If you’re looking for a crispy-fried Jalapeno Popper, then you have come to the right place. Much better than the bar type by frozen versions. A combination of pickled jalapenos, chourico, cream cheese, jack cheese, hot sauce and an egg/bread crumb/panko batter. You have an appetizer that has few equals in the fabulous world of fried food, especially when it contains chourico. Enjoy!
Prep time: min
Cook time: min
Total time: min
Yield: 6 servings


  • 12 whole pickled jalapeños, with stems left intact
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2 large eggs with 2 tablespoons milk, beaten
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 pound ground chourico
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying
  • *Spice Mix
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon onion powder


  1. Cut a lengthwise slit from stem to bottom of each jalapeño. Be sure not to cut completely in half, leave stem connected.
  2. Pry open each jalapeño to expose the ribs and seeds, then devein and seed using the tip of spoon to scrape the inside clean.
  3. In a bowl, stir together cream cheese, Monterrey Jack, chourico, hot sauce, and 2 teaspoons of the spice mix.
  4. Fill/pack the jalapeños with cheese mixture, pressing seams closed after filling, so that the filling is compacted and jalapeño retains its shape. Set aside.
  5. Stir together the bread crumbs with 2 teaspoons of the spice mix in a shallow bowl.
  6. Add flour into another bowl, mix with 2 teaspoons of the spice mix.
  7. Working one at a time, roll the jalapeño in flour until uniformly covered shaking off any excess. Dip the jalapeños in the beaten egg, letting excess drip off, then coat with the plain fine bread crumbs. Repeat coating with egg and then coat with the panko to form a second layer. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining jalapeños. Once all of the jalapeños have been coated, place the baking sheet in the freezer until frozen through.
  8. Heat 2 inches oil to 325°F in a medium saucepan. Fry jalapeños in 3 batches, stirring occasionally, until golden brown all over, 5 to 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to several layers of paper towels to drain. Return oil to 325°F between batches.