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Storing Chilies: Jalapeños, Serranos, and Others


liuzhou

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8 hours ago, liuzhou said:

 

Slightly off topic, but do you get 'facing heaven chillies'. If not, what do you use in the Sichuan dishes you cook?

The jalapeños fit right into Hunan cuisine, though. I used them in yesterday's dinner and had a Hunanese guest. She noticed the chillies didn't look 'normal' but had no complaints about the dish!

 

We have dried facing heaven chillies but not fresh.  When I make the Sichuan dishes, I use a combination of the dried facing heaven chillies and Sichuan pickled chillies.

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1 hour ago, KennethT said:

We have dried facing heaven chillies but not fresh.  When I make the Sichuan dishes, I use a combination of the dried facing heaven chillies and Sichuan pickled chillies.

Do you find the dried facing heaven chiles mild? I do. I like the flavor but I need to use several to infuse a small amount of oil. For more heat in a stir-fry I often use chiles de arbol. They are easy to come by and cheap. But you can't beat the name Facing Heaven and they have a lovely color and shape.

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17 minutes ago, Katie Meadow said:

Do you find the dried facing heaven chiles mild? I do.

 

Facing heaven 朝天椒 (cháo tiān jiāo, facing heaven chillies) or pointing to heaven chillies 指天椒 (zhǐ tiān jiāo), ‘pointing to heaven chillies’ are certainly milder than many other varieties, but they are more flavourful than many, too. Sichuan uses them for flavour and colour more than heat. It is a myth that Sichuan food is China's hottest. Hunan and Guizhou are much more so. That said, my favourite Sichuan dish, 辣子鸡 (là zi jī) uses a minimum of 50 grams per  / 1.75 ounces per plate although the chilies are use to flavour the dish and are not eaten. That said one vistor was mischieviously told only to eat the chillies and not the chicken and ended up in hospital.

 

lazijji.thumb.jpg.70ef7c1586f887737c7acd2dac47c209.jpg.b7c3a53ce5838c2abfd3ffe592172dc1.jpg

辣子鸡 (là zi jī)

 

I do feel privileged to be able to get the chillies, fresh or dried, in every market or supermarket in town.

 

Chiles.jpg.50720057e0ea8eeb979119a658048e12.jpg.dc0ef78ec9390a709c2c1128c65cc877.jpg

Fresh 朝天椒 (cháo tiān jiāo, facing heaven chillies)

 

The jalapeños I bought I found were spicier than I expected, but we also have very spicy types here too, especially originally from  Hunan but grown here.

 

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My sister, who grows a huge garden and grows a lot of chiles, processes her Anaheims and other chiles in the food processor until they're chopped. She puts them in freezer bags and flattens them so that she has a flat slab of chopped chiles, and pops them in the freezer. This way, when she wants some chile for her recipe, she just breaks off a chunk. How spicy are your chiles? I find jalapenos too variable in hotness to be reliably useful. As someone mentioned, they tend to be more like mildly spicy bell peppers. I rarely use green bell peppers because they, shall we say, "repeat" shortly after eating. So I generally use serranos if I'm not using our local chile peron (in other parts of Mexico they're called chiles manzanas, or apple chiles because of their round shape).

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Formerly "Nancy in CO"

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1 hour ago, Nancy in Pátzcuaro said:

As someone mentioned, they tend to be more like mildly spicy bell peppers.

 

These are nothing like bell peppers. I'd say mid-hot and relatively flavourless. Green bell peppers have a flavour to me - an unpleasant one!

Edited by liuzhou (log)

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

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I am another one who finds that jalapeños are completely unreliable. Some are so mild you could eat them like an apple and some will blow your brains out. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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13 minutes ago, Anna N said:

I am another one who finds that jalapeños are completely unreliable. Some are so mild you could eat them like an apple and some will blow your brains out. 

 

That was what I had read. I've only used two of them so far and they were far from mild but also far from the hottest I've met. Experiments shall continue and I'll report back!

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

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Jalapeños were more reliably hot when I lived in NM. Here in CA they are rarely hot. If I want to make pickled Jalapeños I usually add some serranos so that the brine gets hotter. Of course sometimes they are blah too. I've never really cared for them raw and they are too small to roast and peel, so not terribly useful.

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On 5/11/2023 at 11:35 AM, liuzhou said:

 

That was what I had read. I've only used two of them so far and they were far from mild but also far from the hottest I've met. Experiments shall continue and I'll report back!

 

In my experience (in New England, well-known chili destination 😉), they will be fairly consistent within a single purchase.  At times I stopped buying jalapeños from certain supermarkets because they were so bland.  I thought maybe they had been bred for "jalapeño poppers", usually found as a bar snack.  

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