If you do not eat or cook spicy food very often, you may not be familiar with some of the lesser-known varieties of chili peppers. The japones pepper is one of these chilis. Not to be confused with the jalapeño pepper, the japones is used commonly in Asian cuisines.
If you are unfamiliar with this pepper, find out everything you need to know in this helpful guide.
What Are Japones Peppers?
This Asian spice is a somewhat common ingredient in Chinese and Japanese cuisine.
They may also be known as the chile japones, Santaka, or hontaka pepper. Japones peppers are used because they are hot enough to add a little spice to a dish without overwhelming its flavor. They are commonly grown in Mexico.
What Do Japones Peppers Taste Like?
Japones do not have a very strong flavor. This is why they are mainly used to add heat.
This, of course, can be a benefit. For instance, if you want to add some spice to a dish without detracting from its taste, japones peppers will be an advantageous option.
How Hot Are They?
For people who are unaware, the Scoville scale is a method of measuring how hot or pungent chili peppers are. Dating back to 1912, it is a technique that is still used today.
On the Scoville scale, the japones pepper has a rating of 15,000 to 30,000 SHU (Scoville heat units).
This means that they are considered medium heat, though they are at the lower end of this scale. Consequently, japones will give meals an extra kick without being too overwhelming in their heat or flavor.
For more context, the jalapeño is 3,500 to 8,000 SHU on the scale. Consequently, the Japones are several times hotter than this iconic pepper. If you find jalapeños too hot to handle, you may want to avoid japones.
Chilis that are of a similar heat level include the serrano pepper, the black pearl pepper, and the Aleppo pepper.
How Are They Used In Cooking?
As mentioned, japones peppers are commonly used in Asian cooking, mainly in Japan and China. However, they may also be found in Caribbean recipes. In some recipes, japones will be added during the cooking process and removed before the dish is consumed.
You can add japones peppers to a stir fry for an additional kick of spice.
They are also utilized in various sauces, including peanut sauce, for their heat. If you want to give your chutneys or salsas a bit more life, you may want to consider implementing japones peppers.
What Is The Appearance Of Japones Peppers?
Usually, japones peppers are thin and very long. They are often quite indistinguishable from other peppers, particularly the cayenne and Arbol peppers. On average, they are about 2 inches in length.
They start green in color, before progressing to yellow and red hues as they become more mature. During the maturation process, they become hotter. They are normally sold when they become red.
Though you may still be able to find fresh japones, they are often sold dried. This gives them a longer use-by date. Once they are dried, their red coloring becomes darker. They will look more rust-colored
How Can I Obtain Japones Peppers
You can find this variety of pepper both online and in stores. However, you may have difficulty in getting them in standard supermarkets since they are a specialist product.
If there are any supermarkets that focus on authentic Asian foods, you may want to try these shops out. They are more likely to sell japones.
They will be more accessible online, particularly in dried varieties. If you are looking for a high-quality dried japones product, we recommend this one. It has a mouth-watering taste and flavor.
You can add either fresh or dried japones to a meal. Be sure to cut them up small before adding them to a recipe.
If you are able to acquire seeds, you can grow japones peppers from your very backyard. This will make accessing the chili pepper much more straightforward for you, though it may require you to have green fingers.
If you are in Japan, these peppers should be easy to get a hold of. They are frequently sold in market stalls selling produce.
What Can I Use Instead Of Japones Peppers?
If you are unable to access japones peppers, do not panic. There are a few different types of chili peppers that you can use as substitutes. You can try the following chili peppers:
These choices have been selected because they are of a similar level of heat and flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Nutritional Benefits Of Japones Peppers?
These peppers are high in Vitamin A, fiber, and magnesium. Vitamin A will be advantageous for your vision and immune system. Fiber will enhance your digestion.
Meanwhile, magnesium will help to keep your bones healthy and your blood pressure stable. Japones peppers are also low in calories. This makes them a nutritional treat for you to consume.
What Is The Hottest Pepper?
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the hottest chili pepper in the world is the Caroline reaper. This pepper was given the title in 2013. The average ranking of this pepper was 1.6 million.
This is incredibly hot, especially when compared to the japones. It is roughly 53 times hotter than the highest temperature of the japones.
Unless you are a fan of Asian cooking, you probably will not have heard of the humble japones pepper.
Hopefully, this guide will have educated you further on what these peppers are and how they can be implemented into your cooking. If you like your dishes to have a medium level of heat, we recommend adding a japones pepper to your stir fry.