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Nov 25, 2012 11:42 PM

Wild tepin chile peppers in my yard

I recently found some wild tepin chile pepper plants in my back yard:

They are approximately as hot as a habanero. I was very lucky to find them because they are somewhat hard to grow from seed....they germinate best if the seeds are passed through bird droppings. I have found at least 3 plants in my back yard and 2 in my front. All have several tiny little red chiles on them (2 of them are loaded with red and green chiles so I will be well supplied for a while.) I have already picked some and made a chile garlic sauce (similar to sriracha sauce) out of them. It is very good and very spicy. I used 8 tiny tepin chiles (each about the size of a pencil eraser), 2 red bell peppers, 3 large cloves of garlic, and 3/4 cup white vinegar. Boiled everything together then pureed it. We tested it by mixing about 1/8tsp (serious, very tiny amount) with about 1/4 cup rice. It was delicious and not overpoweringly spicy but I also used a miniscule amount of sauce. The rest of the sauce is aging in the fridge, I am going to try making chili and adding a spoonful of the hot sauce to it later this week.

Any other suggestions for what I can use these incredibly hot chiles for? They should not be eaten straight since they are so hot. I am planning on using my "sriracha" sauce in lots of things like soup, chili, curry, stir fry, etc. I was thinking of trying homemade salsa but I have never attempted that before and wasn't sure how well the tepins would work for that, since they are so small, I think they would be very hard to cut. So if I were to make salsa, I would probably use my "sriracha" sauce in it since the tepins are already blended into that.

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  1. How exciting that you have your own tepin plant! I have a hard time finding them for sale in stores. I understand that there are bad years for the plants and then you can't really get them readily.
    My family has made a hot sauce for our chili recipe from tepins for at least 65 years. I freeze the left over hot sauce and then when I make the chili again, I unthaw the hot sauce. Lasts for quite awhile. Our recipe is made with flour, tepins, garlic, water, a little chili powder and bacon grease. Sooo good - and hot!

    1. Tepins are my favorite pepper. I prefer them green and to my palate, they have a short burst of heat, then dissipate quickly. Red are good too. But the flavor isn't as bright.

      My favorite use for them is to toss them in a pan while frying pork chops in a small amount of oil. Remove before chops are done and serve along side. Take a bite of chop and a small bite of pepper. I have a friend who does chops this way and just throws out the peppers after. She just likes the flavour they give the chops but not the heat.

      I just freeze the excess whole and use when needed.

      Mashed potatoes, reheated in oven mixed with peppers and topped with cheese

      Sweet potatoes or carrots baked under a chicken breast(bone on, skin on) with peppers, cumin, garlic,chili powder is good too.
      And so on

      1. What region do you live in if you don't mind me asking?

        Awesome stuff though! Have you thought of pickling?

        Also, poor birds who digested these hot pepper!

        1 Reply
        1. re: carrytheone

          Birds are really the only animals (besides humans) that actively seek out and eat hot chile peppers. My understanding is that capsaicin does not affect birds. I.e. they don't detect it at all.