Savoury Vitamin C Bomb: Mom’s Chinese Grilled Stuffed Peppers

The type of food that tastes SO GOOD  and flavourful, that you won’t believe it’s actually  — this is it. 

You can’t beat mom’s recipes. It’s just not possible. While I love investigating all types of cuisines, my mom’s cooking stayed traditionally Chinese. This dish is a stable in our family from back when I lived in Guangzhou. It is savoury, full of flavour, rich with meat fillings, roasty and sweet from the grilled peppers, and tops white rice perfectly. I mean, really, you HAVE TO give this a try. And you know how some foods are so tasty you think it can’t possibly be that good for you? Well, you’re in for a treat (cheat).

Onto the Food

I’ll let you in on a secret in the meat filling: add some pre-soaked (softened) digestive cookies to it. Instead of bread crumbs, we’ve been using digestive cookies as a softener and binding agent for the meat. The end result is a filling that is smooth, slightly sweet, with a hint of wheat.

For the peppers, you can really choose any type. We traditionally went with red sweet marconi peppers as imaged here. However, while testing out the recipe, we’ve tried Hungarian wax peppers and yellow cubanelle peppers, and both work just fine. While I’m sure that you can get away with using bell peppers, we’d prefer some longer shaped peppers for a thinner wall, and way better flavours. We love our new pepper choices so much, that we’re currently considering alternating between yellow cubanelle peppers and red marconi peppers from now on!

The three peppers we tried with their flavours are as such (from mild to medium hot):

Red marconi peppers: sweet, soft flesh. Caramelize easily. A very very mild hint of peppery tartness. Not spicy at all. Best if you want a rich dish.

Yellow cubanelle peppers: sweet, firmer flesh. VERY FRAGRANT. Not really spicy. Best if you want a full savoury experience with no tartness.

Hungarian wax peppers: Sweet, firmer flesh. Has a spicy kick but edible as a stuffed pepper (if you’re used to mild-medium on a shawarma plate). Best if you want the heat.

A quick note on the filling: in Chinese cooking, we prefer the meat fillings to stick together like a meatball. To do so, we mix the filling in one direction until most people considered over-mixed, when stringy bits start to show (like in the pic below). This allows the filling to not be crumbly.

Alternatively, for our viewers who prefer white meat, we recommend ground turkey for the closest flavour to pork. We haven’t tried using plant-based meat replacements such as tofu or beans — but be sure to let us know if you give it a try!

Onto the Recipe