Fry Capers In The Microwave For The Perfect Briny Crunch

Have you ever had a garnish so good you put it on everything? That's how you're about to feel about microwave-fried capers. They have all the briny pucker of regular jarred capers but with a crispier, mouthwatering texture. And best of all, they only take a few minutes to make.

Not to be confused with the more mature caper berries, capers may have the appearance of small fruits, but they are actually edible flower buds that grow on the caper bush. They are harvested before they're ripe, then pickled in brine. This transforms them into a delicious, salty ingredient commonly used in dishes like chicken piccata or incorporated into creations like tartar sauce or marinades. Capers don't normally undergo a lot of cooking, but when they're fried, the little green buds bloom in the hot oil, giving them a crispy texture while retaining their signature salty punch. America's Test Kitchen test cook Annie Petito relies on the ease of a microwave to make these as a topper for white bean soup, but after you make them yourself you'll be adding them to all kinds of different foods, from soups to meat dishes to sandwiches and bruschetta

How to make microwave-fried capers

Here's how you can use the microwave to turn capers into a crispy garnish. First, make sure to rinse off the liquid when cooking with capers so the final product isn't too salty, and allow them to dry, patting with a clean towel if needed. Put them in a microwave-safe bowl, and add olive oil until all the capers are completely submerged. Cover the dish to prevent splatter and put it in the microwave.

Set the timer for 4 to 5 minutes, but make sure to check on them from time to time, since every microwave is different. By the time they come out of the microwave, the capers will have split open and become crispy in the oil. Use a fork or slotted spoon to remove them from the oil and put them on a paper towel to cool off and drain. However, don't toss the oil! This olive oil is now infused with caper flavor and will make a nice drizzle, marinade, or ingredient in a salad dressing. After a minute or two of cooling, you can use these capers to garnish anything you please. It's worth trying a few on their own, too.