Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Sep 26, 2010 08:22 PM

Straining cooked dried chiles chilies chilis(??)

Several recipes call for cooking (or wet reconstituting) dried chilies, then straining out the skin and seeds.
A food processor prepares them....but what do I strain the mash with ??
I've tried pressing through a metal mesh strainer with a rubber spatula, but that seems to be very messy and slow.
How about a chinois ?
What about squeezing through cheesecloth or a loose nylon strainer ?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I've only used a wide mesh strainer over a bowl, and didn't think it was that hard to do. Try using a stiff spoon (wooden, steel) instead of a spatula.

    How many do you think you'll do at a time? A chinois probably would work very well, but it's a big thing if you're only doing a few chilis. Cheesecloth, I think it'd be hard to get all the chili out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jay F

      A chinois is the traditional way to deal with this issue; may seem excessive, but it's a handy tool to have for all kinds of other de-seeding and de-hulling projects if you don't already have a food mill around.

    2. A food mill does a good job of separating pulp from skin and seeds. But don't use the food processor first.

      1. I use a medium mesh strainer and silicon spatula after prcoessing and find it works well and quickly. Are you using a fine mesh strainer? That would make it hard work. I also find it better if there is someting else in the processed chile mix to thin it a little. That may just be some roast and peeled garlic, a tomato/tomatillo or two, some roast onion or even a little water.

        1 Reply
        1. re: andrewtree

          I agree with everything Andrew says. I used to add a bit of water (I haven't done this in 20+ years). I mostly use dried ground chilis (not "chili powder") from Penzey's, but now that you've reminded me, I should do something with reconstituted chilis soon. I know I have some whole dried chilis in a cabinet.