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Mar 7, 2010 01:48 PM

mail-order Sichuan "facing heaven" chilies?

A similar post a couple years back ( turned up no leads, but occasional sightings of these fragrant, squat dark red dried chili peppers in Chinese supermarkets in California suggest there might now be a mail order source.

Anyone know of a source for delivery in the US?

For a picture:

From the same site:
朝天椒; pinyin: cháo tiān jiāo, also known as 指天椒; pinyin: zhǐ tiān jiāo meaning skyward-pointing chili pepper

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  1. I found a company in the UK
    I ordered the chilies from them; they were the only company I could find on the internet.
    It took 10 working day to received the chilies from the UK too the mid west, I have used them to make Chile oil, Dan Dan noodles and in Ma Po tofu this past weekend and they are excellent. A little pricey but the exchange rate is not great and shipping gets you.

    company name : "chillipepperpete"
    product name: "Facing Heaven - chao tian jiao"
    And here’s a link if it works

    7 Replies
    1. re: tecatefil

      david, if you can't find them closer than the UK, drop me a line at the email in my profile...

      1. re: grayelf

        Argh, one of the places I can get them here was out -- hope that is just temporary. I didn't have time to check the other...

      2. re: tecatefil

        If you plan on buying 'facing heaven' seeds from chilipepperpete, heed this warning-I bought some from him a few months ago and got 0% germination. Unfortunately, it's one of a very small number of sources that sell the seeds. Looks like they're out of the dried chilis. Please do report back if you ever get your hands on any.

        1. re: twj

          I tried to sprout the seeds of dried Facing Heaven chilis that I first found in London after a very long search. None sprouted. A few months later much to my delight I found fresh packages here in Nova Scotia (just down the street!) and the seeds sprouted rather well. As that was in late July it was too late for the plants to mature. So keep trying to sprout the seeds especially if the dried chilis are not very dark which means they are probably too old. Dried chilis may be heat-dried which might also explain the low to 0 germination rate.

          I also got seeds from a fellow growing them in the Carolinas. He says if the cotyledons (cotyledons = the first leaves to appear above ground and these are not the true leaves) which follow are green then they will be true Facing Heavens, if they are purple that indicates they have hybridized so discard those ones. Chances are the packaged one will be picked from vast fields of true Facing Heavens so you should see no purple cotyledons. Hope this helps.

          1. re: chilibeanpaste


            Would you be willing to sell some of your seeds? I'd like to grow some indoors. Let me know and I can get in touch with you.

            1. re: twj


              I can send you some no problem. Just send me your address and will drop them in the mail in a week or so. If you paid for them then two of us would be buying stamps which seems silly!

        2. re: tecatefil

          Also bought mine from chilipepperpetes ... love cooking with them ... have three sproutedout transplants abt. 6" high ... hope they grow true to type

        3. The Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds catalog has something called "Burmese 'Looking to the Sky' peppers" - I assume these are the same thing:

          NEW! Very traditional pepper brought from Myanmar (Burma), where it is widespread in the area around Rangoon and throughout the surrounding country. Medium to very hot peppers are about 1- ½ inch in length, ripen yellow to red. The name comes from the way all the peppers point upward from the branches. Our original seed was supplied by Harriet Bain, who brought them from her native Burma in about 2002.

          1 Reply
          1. re: David Boyk

            David - You can't be certain they are the Sichuanese chilis. Many varieties of peppers point upwards. Too bad they don't have a picture of them though. The size sounds about right but FHC's can get a bit bigger than 1.5 inches. I also wouldn't describe FHC's as very hot as you can eat them after they're fried a bit and without incinerating yourself. The yellow ripening is a bit worrying too Hmm, maybe someone from Sichuan can chime in on that.

            I have a Taiwanese friend who was certain he had FHC but they were tiny, faced upright and were very, very hot. I still can't convince him they are not the real mccoy.

          2. Just found a UK site (The Chilli Pepper Company) that has Facing Heaven Chili seeds. Here is the link:

            1 Reply
            1. re: asheffi1

              The Chilli Pepper Company - I ordered seeds from them last year and what they produced were not FH chilis and they were hot as hades and the wrong shape.

     have the real thing, however there are barely enough for one dish in an order. The good thing is that the seeds sprout and come true.