Cabe Merah Panjang Peppers
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Cabe Merah Panjang are elongated, slender, curved to straight pods, averaging 12 to 20 centimeters in length, and have a conical shape with gradual tapering to a point on the non-stem end. The skin is glossy and smooth with a waxy coating and ripens from dark green to bright red when mature. Underneath the surface, the thick flesh is crisp, aqueous, and also bright red, encasing a central cavity with clusters of small, round, and flat cream-colored seeds. Cabe Merah Panjang have a sweet, fruity flavor mixed with a steady and lingering, moderate to hot level of spice.
Cabe Merah Panjang are available year-round.
Cabe Merah Panjang, botanically classified as Capsicum annuum, are long and slender peppers that grow on plants that reach less than one meter in height and belong to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Predominately found in Indonesia, Cabe Merah Panjang translates from Indonesian to mean “long red chilies” and are one of the most common varieties seen at fresh local markets stacked in bright, colorful piles. Cabe Merah Panjang contain a moderate spice, ranging 30,000 to 50,000 SHU on the Scoville scale and are popularly used for everyday cooking, utilized as a flavoring in sauces, soups, and stir-fries.
Cabe Merah Panjang are an excellent source of vitamins A and C and other antioxidants, which can help protect the body from free radicals, and they also contain vitamins E and K, potassium, and manganese. Capsaicin is the chemical compound present that gives the pepper its heat or spicy nature and is believed to help stimulate digestion and reduce inflammation.
Cabe Merah Panjang can be used in both raw and cooked applications such as stir-frying, frying, and sautéing. When showcased fresh, the peppers can be finely chopped and used to flavor sauces, gravies, salsas, and marinades, or they can be halved and tossed into soups, stews, and curries for added heat. Cabe Merah Panjang are also popularly used in stir-fries, noodle dishes, and salads, or the peppers are ground with a mortar and pestle to make the famous paste known as sambal. There are many variations of sambal used throughout Southeast Asia, and each household has its own version of the paste using various chiles and spices. Sambal is a condiment typically served over rice, meat, cooked vegetables, or mixed into soups, but it can also be used over any preferred dish. Cabe Merah Panjang pairs well with flavorings such as bay leaves, basil, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, and lime leaves, meats such as poultry, pork, beef, and duck, seafood, fried rice, carrots, cucumber, and tomatoes. Fresh peppers will keep 2-3 weeks when stored whole and unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, and when dried, the peppers can be ground and used as a spice for up to one year.
Indonesian cooking is centered around balanced flavors of sweet, salty, bitter, and savory, and many locals consider spice or heat to be just as important in creating a complex flavor. It is also believed that spice can help stimulate the digestive system and is used as a cleansing agent to reduce inflammation. Cabe Merah Panjang are commonly grown in home gardens for everyday cooking, and Indonesian locals utilize the pepper as one of the major base flavorings along with black pepper and ginger. In addition to culinary uses, Cabe Merah Panjang are also used in medicinal home remedies, applied topically to the skin to relieve muscle pain, and to help open up the sinuses when sick.
Peppers are native to Central and South America and have been growing wild since ancient times. When Spanish and Portuguese explorers arrived in the New World, they brought seeds of many pepper varieties back with them to Europe where European sailors and Arab merchants further carried them over to Asia. It is believed that peppers were introduced to Southeast Asia in the 16th century, and while the exact details of how quickly the plants spread is unknown, the spicy fruits became widely cultivated in Asia with new varieties being cultivated and developed. Cabe Merah Panjang can be found in both fresh and dried form at local markets in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Laos.
Recipes that include Cabe Merah Panjang Peppers. One is easiest, three is harder.