Chile de Arbol peppers are spicy and small peppers. They originated in Mexico, and they are extremely potent and popular in Mexican and Spanish cooking. Peppers are great in most dishes, and they add that extra kick and texture.
There are so many varieties and cultivars of hot peppers, and the chile de arbol pepper is one of the most popular in hispanic cuisine. In this article, we will tell you about chile de arbol peppers, and how to cook with them.
The Scoville Scale
The scoville scale is a scale used to measure how hot and spicy a pepper is. It is measured in scoville heat units, and the spice is measured by the number of capsaicinoids present. Capsaicinoids are responsible for making a chili pepper hot.
To summarize the scoville scale, a bell pepper or banana pepper measures at 0-100 heat units, with jalapeno peppers measuring at 2,500-10,000, and Carolina reaper peppers measuring at the maximum scoville unit of 3,000,000+.
The chile de arbol pepper measures at 15,000-30,000 on the scoville scale, making it a chili pepper of medium heat.
Origins Of The Pepper
The chile de arbol pepper is long and thin, similar to a bird’s eye chili pepper. The name chile de arbol means ‘tree chili’ in Spanish, due to the appearance and stalk of the pepper. Chile is the Spanish word for chili.
The pepper has been cultivated for thousands of years, and it is native to the Jalisco area of Mexico. The peppers can be dried, or can be used fresh.
They are popular as dried chilis because they retain the bright red color as well as their spice. To describe the flavor, chile de arbol chilies are grassy with a strong and pungent spice.
Similar Types Of Peppers
Chile de arbol peppers are versatile and pungent peppers, and they add a nice punch of spice to certain dishes. Most hot peppers share similar characteristics, and chile de arbol peppers are no exception.
Japone peppers, thai bird chilies, and serrano peppers are similar peppers that can be used as substitutes if you cannot get chile de arbol peppers.
Cooking With Chile De Arbol Peppers
There are so many recipes you can make where these chilis add a perfect punch. One of the most common dishes to make with chile de arbol peppers is salsa.
To make the chile de arbol salsa, grab some chilis, onions, garlic, tomatillos, and guajillo chiles. Boil the tomatillos and onion until the tomatillos turn yellow. Saute your garlic and chilis, and blend all of the ingredients together. Now you have your spiced salsa!
Another recipe you can make using chile de arbol peppers is beef chili.
To make this recipe, follow a simple chili recipe and grab sine ground beef, onions, garlic, tomato paste, cumin, cayenne, coriander, jalapeno flakes, paprika, cinnamon, 25 chile de arbol peppers,crushed tomatoes, beans, and corn. Mix all of the ingredients together with some broth and serve!
Chile de arbol peppers also make an excellent marinade, as well as a sauce for certain dishes. For example, Mexican pork chops with a spicy chili and jalapeno sauce, or blackened pork tenderloin marinated in chili and paprika.
Where To Buy Chile De Arbol Peppers
Chile de arbol peppers may not be available in mainstream supermarkets, but you should be able to find them in grocers and Mexican grocery stores. You can also order the chilis online.
You can buy the chilis dried or fresh, but the dried chilis will keep for longer and will be easier to find online.
Ways To Use Chile De Arbol Peppers
There are different ways you can use chile de arbol peppers. The chilis are naturally nutty, grassy and pungent.
You can use the chilis to make your own dried chili powder to use in any dish you desire. To make homemade chili powder, toast your chilis in a pan, turning every now and then. You do not want to burn the chilis, because this will add a bitter taste to the powder.
Toast the chilis in a pan until they are bright and aromatic. Once you have toasted them in a pan, you can grind them up straight away, or you can let them dry for a few days, or even put them in the oven.
To dry the chilis out even more, place the toasted chilis in a tray and turn the oven on at the lowest setting. Pop the chilis in the oven and let them dry out for a few hours. Make sure they do not burn.
Another way to make use of your chile de arbol peppers is with salsa. You can make this salsa and store it in the fridge for up to one month.
Make the salsa by boiling the chilis and tomatillos, blending with garlic, onion, and cilantro. Let it cool and pour the salsa into a jar and pop it into the refrigerator.
Finally, chile de arbol peppers are perfect for making adobo. Adobo is a delicious sauce made from chili powder, vinegar, garlic, herbs, and sugar. It is primarily used for marinades and for delicious sauces.
To make adobo with your chilis, toast them in a pan lightly. Blend the chilis with tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, sugarm oregano, cinnamon, salt, cumin, black pepper, and olive oil. This sauce will make a delicious marinade for pork and beef.
Chile de árbol peppers are some of the most versatile and pungent peppers. There are so many ways to use the chili peppers, whether that is as a powder, or a marinade. The chilis can be found at most Mexican grocery stores as well as some organic stores.
You can use the chilis in fresh salsa, to give your dishes that extra spicy kick. We hope we gave you some great information about the history of chile de arbol peppers, and how to use them in your cooking.