Fried capers Ready in minutes, these crispy capers make a perfect salad topping

Fried capers

What are capers?

Capers are the tiny buds of the caper bush, a shrub-like plant with shiny leaves and delicate white flowers, adorned with graceful violet stamens. After being harvested and pickled in salt and vinegar, these buds become the intensely flavored and salty little morsels that are so beloved in Mediterranean cuisine.

Add some crunch and ramp up the flavor!

But when you pan-fry capers, they become even more flavorful. And coating them with a bit of cornmeal adds a delightful crunchy bite to them.

I find these fried capers to be an incredibly powerful seasoning or condiment. Sprinkled over salads, soups or pastas, the tiny buds pack a mighty punch!


Pappardelle with zucchini ribbons, tomatoes and fried capers
Grilled vegetable ratatouille with fried capers
Cucumber linguini with fresh mint and fried capers

Fried capers

makes 1/4 cup
active time: 10 min

  1. 1/4 cup small capers
  2. 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil

  1. Step 1: Spoon the capers into a medium-meshed sieve and drain. Place the cornmeal in a small bowl. Add the capers and mix with a fork until the capers are well coated. Place the capers back into the sieve and shake until the excess cornmeal has been sifted.
  2. Step 2: Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and the capers. Shake the pan until the capers are in one layer. Reduce heat to medium/medium-high, and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes undisturbed, until the capers are golden-brown. Shake the pan again and continue to sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes until capers are golden-brown on all sides, shaking the pan occasionally. Transfer to a small bowl to cool to room temperature. Use the capers within 4 hours.

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Fried capers

condiments, fried capers, capers

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  • Reply Michelle Mynier December 29, 2018 at 1:55 am

    Wonderful on salmon toast with cream cheese

  • Reply Debbie Hill August 20, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    I love this! I can’t wait to try it on sauteed fresh spinach! I just thought of this too.. How about sprinkled on Fettuccini with pesto with black olives.

    • Reply Viviane August 20, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      Debbie! You’re off to a good start with your ideas. These fried capers are totally addictive… Thank you for your comment and Enjoy!

  • Reply Megan April 28, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Love this twist on fried capers with cornmeal. I will have to try this next. I am linking your site in a quick blog post I have coming up so others can see your tasty treats. M

    • Reply Viviane April 29, 2013 at 10:57 am

      Thank you so, so much Megan! Enjoy the fried capers…

  • Reply torviewtoronto July 26, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    lovely snack haven’t had like this

  • Reply Liz Marr, MS, RD July 26, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Very clever – a wonderful salad topper.

  • Reply Leah July 26, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    I read this post while making cauliflower soup. So I made them as a garnish. Lovely. Thanks!

    • Reply Viviane July 26, 2011 at 6:57 pm

      Oh Leah! The capers will be perfect with the cauliflower soup – have a great dinner!

  • Reply Viviane July 26, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Hi Tiffany! I paired them with this recipe that I just published today:

  • Reply Tiffany July 26, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    I love capers! What did you pair these with???

  • Reply Adora's Box July 26, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    I just love capers and the way they burst in your mouth. I could just eat them on its own if fried like these.

  • Reply Viviane July 26, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Thank you so much Ann… As always you just made my day!

  • Reply Ann July 26, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I LOVE capers – I never thought to pan fry them with cornmeal…SO clever! Your photos and you blog is SO beautiful!

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