Sunday, 21 August 2011

Hunanese Chopped Salted Chillies

I’ve cooked a lot from Fuchsia Dunlop’s Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook but I’ve always been missing a vital ingredient: salted chopped chillies. Instead I’ve generally substituted dried chilli flake and /or fresh chilli.  As it is one of my favourite cookbooks I decided enough is enough - the recipe to make homemade salted chopped chillies couldn’t seem any simpler so hey! time to go to it.

This really is simple, all that is needed is some salt, lots of chillies and lot’s of chopping - it will be about two weeks apparently before the chillies are “done” at which point, once opened they will keep in the fridge for months . I already can’t wait for the two weeks to be done...

Hunanese Chopped Salted Chillies
Will fill approx one 0.5l Kilner jar

330g fresh red chillies
60g salt

Thoroughly sterilise a kilner jar - I do this by washing the jar in boiling hot water then pop it (minus the rubber seal) in the oven at 120C for 10 minutes - remove and cool while preparing the chillies.

Cut off the stems of the chillies then chop coarsely. It’s a good idea to use rubber gloves - even if you think you wash your hands well afterwards, handling this amount of chilli will almost certainly cause you to have at least one part of your body stingily on fire at some later point in the evening if you don’t. If it’s your eyes or other elsewhere with a mucous membrane it’s really unpleasant ;)

Add 50g of salt to the chillies (and seeds) in a bowl and mix thoroughly. 

Then put the mixture in a glass jar and cover with the remaining 10g of salt. Seal and leave in a cool place for a couple of weeks. Once opened, store in the fridge.

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