Green Thai chile peppers vary in size and shape depending on the specific variety, and are generally small, conical, and slender, tapering to a point on the non-stem end. The pods range in length from 2 to 7 centimeters, and the skin is smooth, taut, and waxy, ripening from green to bright red when mature. Underneath the surface, the flesh is thin, crisp, and pale green, encasing a central cavity filled with small, round, and flat cream-colored seeds. Green Thai chile peppers have a subtly earthy and grassy flavor with an immediate, pungent heat.
Green Thai chile peppers are a good source of potassium, which can help regulate fluid levels in the body; vitamins A, C, B6, and K; and copper. The peppers also contain capsaicin, which is a chemical compound that triggers the brain to feel the sensation of heat or spice. Capsaicin has been shown to provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
Raw and cooked applications such as stir-frying and sautéing are best suited for both raw and cooked Thai chile peppers. The peppers can be minced and blended into hot sauces, pastes, marinades, and dressings, or they can be placed whole into oils to create an earthy infusion. Green Thai chile peppers can also be used whole in curries, soups, and sauces to add subtle flavor and heat, or they can be stir-fried with vegetables and meat for spicy flavor. For a more intense heat, the peppers can be diced before being used to release their oils and seeds fully. In addition to fresh and cooked applications, the peppers can be dried, ground into a powder, and utilized as a seasoning, or they can be pickled for extended use as a condiment. Green Thai chile peppers pair well with green papaya, citrus, cabbage, carrots, sweet potatoes, fish sauce, vinegar, garlic, onion, herbs, and spices such as ginger, curry leaves, turmeric, cardamom, Thai basil, coriander, and coconut, and meats such as lamb, chicken, beef, and seafood. The fresh peppers will keep for up to two weeks when stored whole and unwashed in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
Green Thai chile peppers are available year-round.