Baked Stuffed Peppers

An entry a few months ago by Sonny got me thinking about stuffed peppers.  Stuffed peppers were a regular dinner main when I was growing up, one that I had mixed feelings about.  In general, I liked them.  But there was something about the taste of the green peppers after they were baked that I didn’t enjoy, finding them slightly bitter.  In fact, Roka won’t eat green peppers, pointing out – rightly – that they aren’t ripe yet, so maybe there is something to that.

Tawn has been saying of late how he’d like to eat at home more.  Unlike in the United States, it is actually easy to spend less money and eat more healthfully by eating out here in Thailand.  This, of course, assumes that you are eating Thai food, which is inexpensive, freshly-prepared, and free of most of the bad things that eating out in the US provides you.

The two things, Sonny’s entry and Tawn’s entreaty, came together and I decided to pull together a meal of stuffed bell peppers.  Since Tawn is avoiding red meats and poultry, I had to come up with a vegetarian option.  The various recipes I found online were not satisfactory so I concocted my own recipe. 


The main ingredient was Job’s Tears, a barley-like grain that is indigenous to parts of Southeast Asia.  I added to that a sauteed mixture of celery, corn, Japanese onions (like leeks but a stronger flavor), the chopped tops of the peppers, and garlic.  These were sauteed in a little olive oil, a jigger of vermouth, a few tablespoons of dark soy sauce, and a teaspoon of wocestershire sauce.  After the veggies were softened, I added a teaspoon of brown sugar and some tomato sauce, cooked it for a few minutes to blend flavors, then mixed it in to the Job’s Tears and added three chopped boiled eggs.  I added salt and cracked pepper to taste then chopped several handfuls of fresh basil leaves and added that with about 1/2-cup of shredded Parmesan cheese.

While the mixture cooled I parboiled the peppers for about two minutes each then cooled them under running water.  Stuffing the peppers and arranging them in an oiled baking dish, I cooked them covered with foil for 40 minutes at about 350 F until the interior temperature reached 150 F.  I uncovered the dish, added a dollop of ketchup on top of each pepper and another shaving of cheese, then baked for 15 more minutes until finished.

The result was delicious and beautiful.  There’s still a little something missing, a meatiness that is not there yet.  I think I could pan-roast some mushrooms to concentrate the flavor then chop them up and add them to the mixture.  Maybe.


9 thoughts on “Baked Stuffed Peppers

  1. o man, you just don’t know how painful this entry is for me. it’s almost lunch here and i’m hungry….
    hmmm… pies! (the hole isn’t the “from the movie”, right?)
    i remember those baked peppers back in highschool. we had this home economics class where the class is divided into groups. my group once baked this one. i didn’t do it coz’ i have no idea how to. i just did the cutting, slicing, sweeping the floor, etc. it really smelled good. to my dismay, the finished product are just for the teachers. argh!
    yeah, and up till now, i haven’t tasted any.

  2. “Stuffed peppers were a regular dinner main when I was growing up, one that I had mixed feelings about.” — I can totally relate.. I made them a few years ago with some smoked/baked tofu – gave it the heartiness I remember as a kid – I think the mushrooms sound nice and will try next time.. looks delicious!

  3. Actually, I didn’t usually bake the peppers, but steamed them on top of the stove with extra tomato sauce (used to bind the meat together) in the pan around the peppers. Green peppers are not as sweet as red, however, they don’t have to be bitter. If they are mature, but not quite ready to turn, they are sweeter. Some dishes you just don’t mess with, and that is the case with stuffed peppers. I’ve tried other fillings and the ground meat/rice mixture is “the only way” to prepare stuffed peppers. The tofu and/or mushrooms do sound quite good, particularly flavorful mushroom (portabella, perhaps). M

  4. @christao408 – Your observation is correct. The poaching makes the peppers soft and less bitter. One can even peel off the “shell” of the peppers (some people like to do that) then.Inspired by your article and my fond memories of “Gefüllte Paprika” I suggested to my significant other to make some this weekend but my idea was not greeted with much enthusiasm. Lasagna ranks higher on the list. Let’s see if I will concur.

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