Bird's Eye Chili
Bird's eye chilies are small, thin, pointy peppers that are red when mature. They are green when unripe but can still be eaten, and they are sometimes orange or purple depending on maturity. In the case of Thai cuisine, green peppers are typically used in green curries, while hotter, mature red peppers are used in red curries. When fresh, they often have a stem still attached and contain loose, edible seeds that are especially spicy. The peppers are affordable thanks to their low weight and can be used whole, sliced, or seeded and diced.
Fresh or dried chiles are added to salads, stir-fries, curries, sauces, sambals, soups, and marinades. The stems are removed, and the chiles can be left whole, sliced, diced, chopped, or pureed. The seeds are especially spicy and can be removed for less intense heat.
You may want to wear gloves when working with these chiles. The chemical in the pepper that makes it hot can stay on your fingers for several hours and really sting when you touch your face, especially the eye area. To guard against unnecessary pain, wear gloves and carefully clean the knife, surfaces, and anything else the cut chiles came in contact with before removing them.
Bird's eye chili is available year-round.