Why You Should Be Frying Capers and How to Do It

You’ll get a crispy, briny garnish and a flavored oil.

Published Jan. 5, 2023.

If you are a caper lover (or hater) and youre looking to bring any dish to the next level, these crispy fried capers are a must! Why mention the caper haters? Because these briny bits are much more than their cold counterparts. 

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10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.

For a quick garnish with no oily mess, we fry capers in the microwave. It’s as simple as combining capers and oil in a measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl and microwaving until they begin to darken. As the capers fry, the caper buds open up, and the petals start to crisp. Strain the fried capers and place them on a paper towel to finish crisping up. Sprinkle the melt-in-your-mouth flavor bombs on top of anything that needs a crunchy, briny garnish. And don’t forget to sneak a few!

Fried Capers

Makes ¼ cup

  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup capers, rinsed and patted dry

  1. Combine oil and capers in 2-cup liquid measuring cup (capers should be mostly submerged). 
  2. Microwave until capers are darkened in color and have shrunk, about 5 minutes, stirring halfway through microwaving. 
  3. Using slotted spoon, transfer capers to paper towel–lined plate (they will continue to crisp as they cool); set aside. (Reserve remaining caper oil for another use. Fried capers can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.)

How to Use Fried Capers 

These crispy capers were originally made for our Green Bean Salad with Creamy Lemon Sauce and Crispy Capers, but they can be sprinkled on so much more: soups, salads, toasts, meats, and fish. And for virtually any recipe that calls for capers, simply omit the capers where they are stirred into the recipe, and sprinkle the fried capers on top. And, bonus, if that recipe calls for olive oil, you can use the caper oil instead. Because the caper oil can take on some of the saltiness from the capers, be sure to use less salt in the recipe sauce or garnish recipe, and season to taste as you go. 

If you see a recipe that calls for frying capers in a skillet, you can take an easier route (microwaving) and swap in these fried capers instead. 

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How to Use Fried Caper Oil

Don’t toss the frying oil; reserve it for another use. This olive oil is now packed with caper flavor. You can use it in salad dressing, or drizzle it on a soup or pasta. You can also pour the oil into a shallow dish, sprinkle it with some flake salt and cracked pepper, and dip crusty bread into it. 

Try Fried Capers in These Dishes to Up Your Caper Game

Creamy White Bean Soup with Herb Oil and Crispy Capers

Sautéed Radishes and Scallions with Garlic, Dill, and Capers

Asparagus Baked in Foil with Capers and Dill

White Beans with Tomatoes and Capers

Simple Tomato Salad with Capers and Parsley

Chicken Cutlets with Lemon and Capers

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