All About Common Fresh Chiles
For many cooks, fresh chiles are a bit of a mystery. And it’s no wonder.
Common Fresh Chiles
The same chile can go by different names in different parts of the country and can range from green to red, depending on when it was harvested. To ensure that you’re buying the chile called for in a recipe, it’s a good idea to look at a photo before shopping. Whatever the variety, you should choose chiles with tight, unblemished skin and flesh that’s firm to the touch.
Appearance: Large, triangular; green to red-brown Flavor: Crisp, vegetalHeat (on a scale of 1 to 4): 1 Substitutions: Anahein, bell pepper
Appearance: Large, long, skinny; yellow-green to red Flavor: Mildly tangy, vegetalHeat (on a scale of 1 to 4): 2 Substitutions: Poblano
Appearance: Small, smooth, shiny; green or red Flavor: Bright, grassyHeat (on a scale of 1 to 4): 2 Substitutions: Serrano
Appearance: Small; dark green Flavor: Bright, citrusyHeat (on a scale of 1 to 4): 3 Substitutions: Jalapeno
Thai Bird's Eye
Appearance: Narrow and petite; bright red Flavor: Rich, fruityHeat (on a scale of 1 to 3): 3 1/2 Substitutions: Serrano
Appearance: Bulbous; bright orange to red
Flavor: Deeply floral, fruity
Heat (on a scale of 1 to 4): 4
Substitutions: Double dose Thai Bird's Eye