All about the bird's eye chili > From the market to your plate
Bird's eye chilis can be purchased fresh, dried whole or ground.
If buying fresh, look for nicely-colored, smooth shiny peppers with no marks or withering.
- Store chilis in the refrigerator without washing. You can store them for 1-2 weeks, but even if they begin to wilt, they retain all their qualities.
- You can freeze them for 3-4 months for optimal quality if seeded first.
- In oil: simply place the bird's eye chilis into a jar of oil to store them for a fairly long period. Some cooks add a pinch of salt and other aromatics. The oil can be used to drizzle on pizza, salads, etc.
- In vinegar: use the same process as for oil. Use white vinegar or rice vinegar.
- Store away from light and moisture.
As with most hot chilis, the intensity is found mostly in the seeds and white membranes. Remove them depending on how you'll use the chilis.
Bird's eye chilis can be used whole or minced, depending on the desired flavor or the recipe. When used whole, it's best to make a small incision along the length and remove the seeds, because if the chili bursts during cooking, the seeds will invade the whole dish. One of the most common mistakes is to halve the chili and to add only one half to make it less hot - but since the "heat" is in the seeds, this has the opposite effect!
Bird's eye chilis are used to flavor oils (pili-pili), pies, quiches, soups, vegetable garnishes, meats, poultry, fish and eggs - they can basically be used in any dish!
Tie a string to the chili, add it to your dish and remove it after a few minutes!
Largely used in Reunion Island
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