Green pepper has a more bitter taste than red or yellow pepper.

Are there tricks to remove or diminish this bitter taste? A special way of cooking, or adding a bit of sugar or something maybe?

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  • 3
    You mean besides letting it ripen some more before picking it?
    – Marti
    Jun 10, 2013 at 2:25
  • @Marti: I don't grow them, I buy them in the form seen on the picture. If I let them for too much time in the sun they just shrink. See also my comment to ElendilTheTall's answer. Jun 10, 2013 at 10:57

6 Answers 6


Green peppers are green because they are unripe. Unripe fruits and vegetables are naturally more bitter and less sweet than ripe ones. By far the easiest/laziest path is to just use a red pepper. It's essentially the same food, just ripe.

Sugar won't really do anything to the bitterness other than mask it. Salt will. Khymos has written that in parts of Asia, unripe fruit is commonly eaten with salt, salty spices, or soy sauce. These are all excellent options for peppers, as they reduce the bitterness and enhance the taste.

Finally, cook at low heat if possible. Pan-fried peppers tend to be a fair shake bitterer than slow-grilled or oven-roasted peppers.

(P.S. Removing the skin obviously works as well - I personally prefer them unskinned, but if you want to skin them, have a look at this Chow video on it - it's simple to do, you just char the outside and shake it in a plastic bag.)

Also, the interior white part and skin (not the big obvious part, but the sort of interior skin of it) are rather bitter also. Remove it be sliding your knife carefully and parallel to your cutting board slowly and shallowly.

  • 1
    P.S. I should have been specific and said that salt doesn't actually eliminate the bitter compounds, but it does actually neutralize the bitter flavour - not just add another flavour on top of it. There's no chemical reaction in the food, but salt is known to interfere with the perception of bitterness in the mouth.
    – Aaronut
    Jun 18, 2011 at 19:00
  • I tried the burn-the-skin, slow-cook, generous salt technique, it works well, thanks! Aug 11, 2011 at 5:07

Much of the bitterness comes from the skin. The skin can be removed with a peeler, or by roasting the pepper until the skin starts to release.

  • 1
    The best thing is roast the pepper for 15-20' at high temperature then let it cool down (maybe cut it in half to speed up the process). Once cool it's supereasy to peel it.
    – nico
    Jun 18, 2011 at 14:41
  • If you put the roasted pepper in a paper bag, or a bowl covered in cling film as it cools, the steam will make it easier to peel.
    – Joe
    Feb 24, 2013 at 14:54

Well, the obvious answer is to add a little sugar, though this probably won't make much difference to the actual pepper itself. If you don't want a bitter tasting pepper, why don't you just use a red or yellow one in the first place?

  • 2
    I live in Japan where red/yellow peppers are much more expensive. Jun 19, 2011 at 3:53

I cook the pepper using olive oil and don't get that bitter taste. It also could be the combination of seasonings that I use with the olive oil. I have found that Mrs. Dash Tomato/basil/Garlic seasoning does wonders with the green bell pepper.


Cook the green peppers in water and add a some apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Cook for about 5 minutes and then take them out of the water and stuff them as you usually would. I remove the insides and white skin on the inside of the peppers before boiling.

  • 1
    The question does not mention stuffing the peppers as a specific application. Does this generalize to general use?
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Jun 7, 2013 at 13:54
  • If stuffing is a way to make them less bitter, then that's one solution. Jun 10, 2013 at 2:14

I mistakenly bought a spaghetti sauce that had green peppers that overpowered the entire sauce. After reading some reviews about adding soy sauce to counteract the problem of too much green pepper, I realized I was out of soy. I added probably a Tbsp. of Teriyaki instead. It miraculously took the green pepper taste completely out of the sauce without adding a terriyaki taste! I Hope this helps someone. I was completely surprised.

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