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Salted chilis


ChrisTaylor
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Recently, I made a beef dish that called for salted chillies (the recipe came from Neil Perry's Balance & Harmony, if anyone's interested). It referred to one of the book's base recipes. The recipe involves a wait period of a couple weeks so I just used fresh chillies at the time, but set the base recipe aside to work on later. These chillies are promoted as being a nice flavour bomb in stir-fries and such.

 

Anyway, a few days ago I did the extensive prep: roughly chop some chillies and drop them in a jar with some salt. Unsurprisingly, after a few days you have a lot of liquid in the jar. The recipe does not say whether you should keep this liquid or dispose of it. My theory is that you're dealing with a product like salt-preserved capers. You don't want half of the product immersed in brine, right? So I went ahead and ditched the liquid. I did the correct thing, right? Obviously, there's no photograph of the finished product in the book.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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Mmmmm....salted chilies.  Surprised I haven't stumbled across them before; we're both a couple of chili-heads.  

 

In googling, the most referenced recipe is that of Fuchsia Dunlop's, link here courtesy of the LA Times.   There is no mention of siphoning off any accumulated juices.  Is the basic recipe similar to the one you're using?  

 

FWIW, I have made preserved lemons and limes which is a similar process of salting and waiting; I do not remove any accumulating juices in those recipes.  

 

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/may/20/food/la-fo-congeereca-20100520

Edited by gulfporter (log)
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To be honest, I didn't think to hit my other Chinese cookbooks--Dunlop's Sichuan classic being my most frequently referred to--to resolve the 'problem'. Oh well. I guess we'll see what happens when you drain off the liquid, hey? 

 

EDIT

The photograph accompanying the article also makes clear the liquid is meant to stay in the jar. Grand.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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The extra liquid issue may simply resolve itself if you let the chilis sit for a longer period of time.

 

I used the salt cured chili recipe I found on the Leener's site, and there wasn't any extra liquid in the jar. It's possible that during the first week some liquid was thrown off then reabsorbed (I put the jar in a cool dark place, and resisted the urge to look at it except when I was supposed to stir it), but by the time the first week was up, the texture was a slightly more mash-like, but there was no free liquid.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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