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Question re Dunlops chopped salted chilis

Westminstress Oct 26, 2012 09:08 AM

I bought a bunch of beautiful red chiles de arbol at the Greenmarket with the intention of putting p a batch of Dunlops chopped salted chilis. The original recipe calls for 1 pound of chilis to 1/4 cup salt. I would like to make a quarter recipe and have already washed, dried and chopped my chilies. I am wondering whether I should reduce the salt proportionally to 1 tbsp - is that enough salt for the preservation process to work properly? Should I use more? Thanks!

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  1. tcamp RE: Westminstress Oct 26, 2012 09:16 AM

    I'd probaby use more. However, I'll confess that I'm pretty haphazard with that recipe - I just use a bunch of peppers and layer with copious amounts of salt. My goal is taste, not too concerned with preservation as I keep mine in the fridge. It is a pretty forgiving recipe, IMO.

    1. JoanN RE: Westminstress Oct 26, 2012 09:37 AM

      I usually halve the recipe and halve the salt. I would go with the tablespoon of salt just because the dishes the salted chiles are used in are salty enough and the amount of salt in the chiles has always seemed plenty to me. I don't worry about the preservation process either, but after about a week or so the chopped chiles begin to exude a bit of juice and I do turn the jar regularly as it sits in the fridge to make sure the salted juice is well distributed.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JoanN
        tcamp RE: JoanN Oct 26, 2012 09:38 AM

        Good point but my main use for those peppers is oatmeal so the salt isn't a problem. Turning is good!

      2. beetlebug RE: Westminstress Oct 26, 2012 09:45 AM

        I usually double the recipe and double the salt. I'm also haphazard though, especially if my container isn't big enough to hold all the chiles. I then look for other clean jars to put the chiles in and just sprinkle the top with salt.

        I do keep them in a dark cupboard until I'm ready to open the jar. Once the jar is opened, it lives in the fridge.

        1. w
          Westminstress RE: Westminstress Oct 26, 2012 10:00 AM

          Thanks all! I decided to mix the chilis with 1 tb salt and then added more to the top - about 2/3 of a teaspoon. So i used a littke extra salt but not too much. I figure i can slways rinse them if they turn out too salty. I'm putting them in the wine fridge to cure for two weeks, then will store in the fridge after that. BB, that's amazing that you make 2 pounds at once! What do you use them for and how long does it take you to get through them?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Westminstress
            beetlebug RE: Westminstress Oct 26, 2012 01:38 PM

            I use them for many different things. I cook chinese at home a lot. So, stir fries. or take out dumplings, or sometimes just to give things a little ooomph.

            I grow a variety of (jalapeno, habenero, thai, cayenne, cherry) hot peppers in the summer. All in giant bins. And since the NE had this crazy hot and humid summer, my peppers went wild. Usually, I harvest and salt 1.5 - 2 lbs that I don't use for cooking. This bath will last me for about a year. This summer, I harvested and salted 7 lbs! And, I still have some chiles growing on the plants that I'll cook with. It's going to be a spicy winter.

          2. d
            DeppityDawg RE: Westminstress Oct 26, 2012 02:55 PM

            I made a quarter recipe this summer, cutting the salt by 4, but it didn't seem to work. After three weeks in the cupboard, turning every couple if days, there wasn't much juice and the peppers didn't change in appearance. I've been using them anyway, but they just taste like chilies with salt...

            4 Replies
            1. re: DeppityDawg
              Westminstress RE: DeppityDawg Oct 26, 2012 02:59 PM

              Oh, thats interesting and disturbing! That reminds me, what should I be looking for in my end product? I just expected to let the chilis sit for two weeks, then use them so
              Long as they're not moldy.

              1. re: DeppityDawg
                JoanN RE: DeppityDawg Oct 26, 2012 03:33 PM

                I always assumed that that was the point. They look and taste like freshly chopped chiles with salt added. Those red Holland chiles, the ones I usually use to make the salted chiles, aren't always easy to find. This is a way of keeping them on hand for when you need them. That they don't change in appearance I see as a positive rather than a negative.

                1. re: JoanN
                  DeppityDawg RE: JoanN Oct 26, 2012 04:27 PM

                  You are probably right. It's just that after reading this enthusiastic thread about them, I was expecting something more interesting, like some additional level of flavor from lactic acid fermentation.

                  1. re: JoanN
                    Westminstress RE: JoanN Oct 26, 2012 05:40 PM

                    Oh great, good to hear, that's what I was expecting! whew! You are right that the fresh red chilis are hard to find. I have looked for them all over Chinatown and in my local shops with no luck. But there are piles of them at my local Greenmarket right now so I got inspired.

                2. JMF RE: Westminstress Oct 26, 2012 06:10 PM

                  Calculate the salt by weight. For straight salting and fermentation of chopped up vegetable, 2-3% salt by weight of the vegetable. For brining make the brine with 5% of the waters weight. About 50 grams per liter of water. (2 oz per quart)

                  Also, if the ferment doesn't seem to kick in, drain a bit of plain yogurt and use the whey (the liquid) as a starter culture. Two weeks may be long enough, but a month will probably bring in more complex flavors.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: JMF
                    Westminstress RE: JMF Oct 26, 2012 07:42 PM

                    Thanks, this is very helpful andiwill keep in mind for next time!

                  2. w
                    Westminstress RE: Westminstress Nov 25, 2012 01:16 PM

                    Just popped in to say that I used my chilies for the first time last week (not in a Dunlop recipe) and they were wonderful! They tasted like pure red chilies with salt,maybe a bit of fruity zing from the fermentation. These chilies are very neutral and useful for any type of cuisine where you might want to add a bit of heat. They are quite salty, but i compensated by reducing the other sources of salt in my recipe. I think I'll be making a batch every year from now on as it is so handy to have fresh red chilis always available when needed.

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