How to Dry, Seed & Store Hot Chinese Peppers

Overview

Small, fiery hot Chinese peppers are a staple in many Asian dishes. Much of the oils that make the peppers hot are present in the seeds, so removing them will temper the spice level of the peppers. Chinese peppers are often dried and stored for later use. The dried peppers are then added to soups, stir-fries and other dishes in their dried form to add color and flavor. Properly seeding and storing the peppers ensures they keep for as long as possible with a minimal loss of flavor.

Step 1

Place the Chinese peppers in a colander. Wash them under cool running water, inspecting them for soft spots or diseased areas as you wash. Dispose of any that are damaged. Pat the peppers dry with a clean towel.

Step 2

Slit the peppers open lengthwise along one sides, using a sharp knife. Slide your finger through this slit, dislodging the seeds inside. Chinese peppers are usually stored whole with the stem intact, but you may cut this off if you prefer.

Step 3

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the seeded peppers out on the parchment paper in a single layer and with no sides touching each other.

Step 4

Turn the oven on to the lowest temperature setting, generally between 120 and 140 degrees F. Place the pan of peppers inside the oven and leave the oven door open 2 to 3 inches.

Step 5

Flip the peppers over every hour during the drying period. This ensures they dry evenly on all sides and that they do not begin cooking on the pan. Chinese peppers are small so usually take eight to 14 hours to dry.

Step 6

Remove the peppers from the oven once they are dried. Allow them to cool to room temperature, then place them in a plastic bag. Seal the bag and store in the fridge or a cool, dry place for one to three months.

Tips and Warnings

  • If the peppers begin to brown, they are cooking. Turn down the heat on the oven or turn it off and allow it to cool slightly before turning it back on and drying again.

Things You'll Need

  • Colander
  • Towel
  • Knife
  • Parchment paper
  • Pans
  • Plastic bag

References

  • Washington State Extension: Peppers
  • Scott Roberts Web: Ultimate Guide to Drying Hot Peppers
Keywords: drying Chinese peppers, preserving hot peppers, harvesting peppers

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.