The whole Japones Santaka, Chinese chile pepper, is in one word- HOT. It has an intense, simple, heat. They do not have the complex flavor profile of some peppers, so their pure simple heat is more direct and easily balanced with other bold spices.
Definitely not for the faint at heart, the Santaka is a teardrop shaped pepper with a great red color and a fiery flavor of the hottest pepper. It is popular in Asian cuisine, and can be found in many Chinese (especially Hunan and Sichuan), Japanese, and southeastern Asian dishes. The dried Santaka pepper is used in sauces, chutneys, salsas, sautéed eggplants and stir fries. It blends well in Thai curries with cilantro, garlic, basil, and lemongrass; or in rich peanut sauces.
You can substitute arbol chile peppers or guajillo chile peppers with these japones santaka chile peppers. Use them whole and dried, grind them up, or soak in hot water to rehydrate them. Or, steep the peppers in vegetable oils to release the flavors and infuse the cooking oils with their bold heat.
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