Whole Dried Chile Peppers - Chilipods - Chili Paste
Whole Dried Chile Peppers - Chilipods - Chili Paste
MexGrocer offers a wide selection of whole dried chile peppers for you to choose from. Dried chile peppers are old wrinkly versions of regular chiles such as poblano, jalapeno, chilaca chile, arbol, Guajillo, Pasilla, and Mulato to name a few. These chiles are pureed and used to make salsas, and chili sauces for tacos and enchiladas among other dishes.
Whole dried chiles, ground chiles, chilipods and chili flakes are used to flavor and add a kick to stews, soups, vegetables, pasta dishes, beans and curries. The idea of drying the chiles is to preserve them so they will last for a longer time. In order to use the dried peppers in most recipes, you need to rehydrate them by soaking the chiles in hot water. However you can add the chopped dried chiles directly without having to rehydrate into soups, stews, casseroles or meat mixtures because the long cooking will do the rehydrating for you. To rehydrate the dried chiles soak them in hot water for half hour. When you take them out, you’ll notice the chiles have regained some of their natural color, and they will have softened and swelled. You can drain off the water or save it, if the recipe calls for pureed chiles. You can cut off the stems and get rid of the seeds if you didn’t do it before soaking, chop and slice your chiles as needed. To puree your chiles, you can do it by using a blender or food processor and using some of the soaking water you saved. If you want your puree to have a finer texture or you want to remove those stowaway seeds, press the puree through a strainer. When buying dried chiles make sure they have unbroken skins, slight flexibility as well as a rich uniform color. They will last longer if stored in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed jar or freezer bag.
The following list contains the most popular and frequently used dried chiles, with suggestions as for what you can use instead. A brief description of what the chiles are and if they have alternate names. MexGrocer has a wide variety of brands of dried chiles for you to choose from, as well as chile pods from El Guapo and Corona Real.
Glossary of Dried Chiles
ANCHO – dried poblano peppers, deep dark red or maroon in color. Anchos (ancho means wide in Spanish) are mild to moderately hot. Used in sauces after they have been soaked and grounded. Substitutes: Mulato, Pasilla, California or Dried New Mexico chile peppers.
CASCABEL – also known as chile bola or rattle chile. Small and round with reddish brown skin. Its called cascabel because of the sound it makes when you shake it, which resembles a rattle snake. Moderately hot. Substitutes: Pequin, Tepin, Guajillo or Cayenne pepper.
CHIPOTLE – a smoked and dried jalapeno; brown in color with a smoky flavor. Very hot. Other types of Chipotle are the mora and morita native to Chihuahua. Substitutes: Ancho, Mora or Morita
CHILE DE ARBOL – resembles the cayenne pepper but less wrinkled. They look the same either dried or fresh. Small and slender has an intense red color. It’s fairly hot. Substitutes: Pequin chiles and Cayenne pepper.
GUAJILLO – a reddish brown, shiny, and smooth with purplish tones. Is moderately hot with a pleasant sharp flavor; Needs to be soaked longer than any other chiles due to their tough skin. Substitutes: New Mexico chiles, California or Cascabels.
MULATO – Basically is the same as the Poblano, but is also very similar to the Ancho chile. Has an earthy flavor and is darker and sweeter. To distinguish between a mulato and ancho, split open and hold them against the light; ancho should have a reddish color and mulato browner; fairly mild. Substitute: Ancho.
PASILLA – also known as chile negro has a black, shiny, wrinkled surface with vertical ridges. It’s the main ingredient in mole. Has a rich but sharp flavor. Substitutes: Mulato chile or Ancho.
CALIFORNIA CHILE PEPPERS – dried Anaheim chile, or Seco del Norte. Burgundy colored; very mild. Substitutes: New Mexico Chile.
NEW MEXICO CHILE – With an earthy flavor they resemble the California chile, but are hotter with more flavor. Substitute: Ancho or California chiles.
HABANERO – they look the same dried or fresh. Have wrinkly orange skin and are extremely hot. Substitute: Chile de Arbol.
TEPIN – Small, red and they look like dried cranberries, tepin is also known as chiltpin, chiltepin and chiltecpin. Substitute: Cascabel, Pequin or Cayenne.
PEQUIN – commonly known as bird pepper, pequin peppers are very hot. Substitutes: Cascabel, Tepin, Chile de Arbol or Cascabel.
JAPANESE PEPPERS - Dark reddish-brown, similar to the Chile de Arbol and is Medium hot. Substitute: Chile de Arbol.
Discover at MexGrocer.com, a whole new world of spicy flavors dried chiles have to offer. Create your own recipes or get some help getting started with the Mexican Food Video - Some Like It Hot: Cuisines of Chili Climates with Rick Bayless DVD. Also introduce your friends and family to the zesty world of Dried chiles with MexGrocer’s Mexican herb and spice medley to begin creating wonderful and delicious recipes.