Dried Japanese Chile Peppers
Inventory, 5 lbs : 5.40
This item was last sold on : 03/16/23
Dried Japanese chile peppers are a small varietal, averaging 5 to 6 centimeters in length and 1 to 2 centimeters in diameter, and have a slender, narrow, and flattened appearance. The peppers are generally straight and taper to a distinct point, and the skin is smooth but creased with a leathery consistency. Dried Japanese chile peppers are typically dark red to orange-red, speckled with rusty orange spots and patches. Underneath the semi-thick skin, the pepper contains a hollow cavity filled with tiny, round, and flat, golden yellow seeds. The peppers also have a dried green cap that is removed before cooking and should feel lightweight when placed in the hand. Dried Japanese chile peppers have a neutral, vegetal, and lightly acidic taste combined with a clean, pungent, sharp, and lingering heat.
Dried Japanese chile peppers are available year-round.
Dried Japanese chile peppers, botanically classified as Capsicum annuum, are a spicy variety belonging to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. The small peppers grow in clusters on bushy plants that reach up to sixty centimeters in height, and each plant can produce anywhere from 60 to 120 chile peppers. Japanese chile peppers ripen in approximately 70 to 80 days and transition from green to red when mature. To dry the fresh peppers, the ripe pods are left for extended periods on the plant and are later harvested and dried in the sun or dehydrated. Dried Japanese chile peppers have a slightly stronger taste and heat than the fresh pepper, as drying concentrates the flavors, and the variety is valued for its clean spice. The peppers average 15,000 to 30,000 SKU on the Scoville Scale and provide mostly heat to culinary dishes without overpowering the flavors in the dish. Dried Japanese chile peppers are also known as Japones, Hontaka, Santaka, Oriental chile pepper, and Chinese chile pepper, and the name Japones is derived from the Spanish word for “Japanese.” Dried Japanese chile peppers are cultivated worldwide and are a versatile pepper used as a dry spice, flavoring in culinary dishes, and added heat in various beverages.
Dried Japanese chile peppers are a source of vitamin A to maintain healthy organ functioning and vitamin C to strengthen the immune system and increase collagen production. The peppers also contain fiber to regulate the digestive tract, potassium to balance fluid levels within the body, vitamin K to assist in faster wound healing, and other nutrients, including vitamins B6, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamin E. In addition to vitamins and minerals, the peppers contain capsaicin, a chemical compound that triggers the brain to feel the sensation of heat or spice. This compound has been shown to stimulate the circulatory system and provide anti-inflammatory properties.
Dried Japanese chile peppers have a neutral, slightly acidic flavor suited for fresh and cooked preparations. The peppers are mainly used for their clean heat and can be rehydrated or ground into a powder, used as a spice. Dried Japanese chile peppers should be immersed in warm water for at least ten minutes to rehydrate. The reconstituted peppers can then be tossed into soups, curries, and stews, pureed into sauces, chopped into chutney, dips, and salsas, or added to casseroles. Rehydrated Japanese chile peppers can also be used whole in stir-fries, meat-based main dishes, chile sauces, or in any dish requiring added spice. In Asia, the peppers are commonly used as a variation of other chile peppers in dishes such as kung pao chicken, chili crab, hot and sour soup, and Hunan spicy beef. Dried Japanese chile peppers can also be ground into powders and flakes and used as a dry rub on meat, sprinkled into pasta and other creamy dishes, or stirred into liquids. The powder can be treated similarly to cayenne pepper and is used in small amounts in dishes. Beyond culinary dishes, Dried Japanese chile peppers can be infused into oil or alcohol to mix into cocktails. Dried Japanese chile peppers pair well with aromatics such as garlic, onions, lemongrass, and ginger, meats including beef, pork, poultry, and duck, seafood, tofu, eggplant, broccoli, bell peppers, and herbs such as cilantro, lemongrass, and basil. Whole, dried peppers will keep up to one year when stored in a cool, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight. It is recommended to use the peppers within six months for the best quality and flavor.
Dried Japanese chile peppers are one of several varieties of peppers incorporated into Chinese cooking. There are eight major cuisines within China, including Zhejiang, Shandong, Szechuan, Cantonese, Fujian, Jiangsu, Anhui, and Hunan, and Szechuan cuisine is known for its rich coloring, bold flavors, and intense spice. Dried Japanese chile peppers are a favorite addition to Szechuan dishes as they add heat without muddling the flavors already found within the dish. The peppers are traditionally cooked in the dish whole and can be removed or left in the dish, depending on spice preference. One of the most famous dishes incorporating Dried Japanese chile peppers is mapo tofu. This spicy recipe dates back to 1862 during the Qing Dynasty, and the name mapo tofu roughly translates to mean “pockmarked elderly woman tofu.” This curious moniker has several legends tied to the name, with some mentioning the elderly lady was an outcast cooking for travelers while other tales spoke of her making the dish out of home brought ingredients from workers. The most probable theory was mapo tofu was made at the Chen Xingsheng Restaurant, a small establishment in northern Chengdu, located beside the Wangfu Bridge. Workers crossing the bridge would stop at the restaurant to eat, and Mrs. Chen would make them a richly flavored, spicy tofu dish. The dish became known as mapo tofu, named after Mrs. Chen’s complexion, and the tofu became so popular that in 1909 the restaurant’s name was changed to Chen Mapo Tofu Restaurant. Mapo tofu is comprised of soft tofu served in a thin, oily, and spicy chile sauce, sometimes topped with minced meat. In the modern-day, mapo tofu is one of the most famous dishes of Chengdu, and UNESCO has named Chengdu a gastronomic destination within their Creative City Network.
Dried Japanese chile peppers are native to Mexico and are descendants of pepper varieties that have been growing wild since ancient times. The cultivar was created from years of selective breeding and domestication and was mainly grown in the state of Jalisco in the central valley of Mexico. In the 15th and 16th centuries, dried chile peppers were carried with explorers from the New World to Asia, where the spicy pods were widely valued for their flavor, coloring, and heat. Over time, the peppers earned their Japanese moniker, as the variety was used more frequently in Asia than in Mexico. Today Dried Japanese chile peppers are grown worldwide and are customarily dried and used as a spice or rehydrated pepper. The pods are cultivated throughout Asia, in select regions of the southwestern United States, and Mexico. In commercial cultivation, Dried Japanese chile peppers are mainly sold through grocers, markets, and online retailers. The variety is also a home garden plant of chile pepper enthusiasts, used fresh and dried in homemade preparations.
Restaurants currently purchasing this product as an ingredient for their menu.
|Cloak and Petal||San Diego CA||619- 634-3970|
|The Go Go Truck||San Diego CA||401-837-1740|
|Alejandra's Cocina||Carlsbad CA||858-500-5075|
|Spitfire Tacos||San Diego CA||858-764-1880|
|Sandbar Sports Grill||Mission Beach CA||858-488-1274|
|Mission+Garnet||San Diego CA||858-361-0870|
|Head Lettuce||La Jolla CA||516-507-0101|
Recipes that include Dried Japanese Chile Peppers. One is easiest, three is harder.
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