Fresh Chile Peppers
Synonyms: chili pepper, chile, hot pepper, chilli pepper
Plural: chilies, chiles, chillies, or (chile, chili, chilli) peppers
Anaheim chile = California green chile = long green pepper = chile verde = (when mature and red) chile colorado = California red chile Pronunciation: ANN-uh-hime Notes: These large, mild chiles are available in most large supermarkets, and perfect for chiles rellenos. They have a tough skin which peels off easily if you first char them over a flame, then steam them in a paper bag for several minutes. Mexican cooks like to dice or purée them, then add them to sauces, soups, and casseroles. They're available year-round, but they're best in the summer. Substitutes: New Mexico green chile (very close, but hotter) OR poblano chili (This is especially good for stuffing. Poblanos are sweeter and usually a bit hotter than Anaheims, and their skin isn't as tough.) OR Big Jim (hotter) OR canned green chilies (preferably fire-roasted)
ancho chile See ancho chile (dried) or poblano pepper (fresh).
banana chile See banana pepper.
banana pepper = banana chile = sweet banana pepper Notes: These are easily confused with hotter yellow wax peppers. Sample before using. Substitutes: yellow wax (hotter)
bird cherry pepper See cherry pepper.
bird pepper 1. cayenne pepper 2. Thai chili
California green chile See Anaheim chile.
California red chile See Anaheim chile.
caloro See guero.
caribe See guero.
cayenne pepper = finger chili = ginnie pepper = bird pepper Equivalents: One pepper = 1/8 teaspoon ground Notes: These are often used in Cajun recipes. Green cayennes appear in the summer, while hotter red cayennes come out in the fall. Substitutes: chile de arbol OR Thai pepper OR habanero OR jalapeno OR serrano OR cascabel OR pequin OR tepin OR Holland OR cherry pepper cherry pepper = hot cherry pepper = Hungarian cherry pepper = bird cherry pepper = Creole cherry pepper = wiri-wiri Notes: Along with pepperoncini, this is a good pickling pepper. Substitutes: cayenne pepper OR pepperoncini
chile chilaca See chilaca.
chile colorado See Anaheim chile.
chile guero See guero.
chile verde See Anaheim chile.
Creole cherry pepper See cherry pepper.
cuaresmeno Substitutes: jalapeno pepper (very similar) OR serrano pepper
Dutch chile See Holland chile.
finger chili See cayenne pepper.
Fresno pepper Pronunciation: FREZ-noh Notes: These are similar to jalapeno peppers, but with thinner walls. They're great in salsas. Green Fresnos are available in the summer. the hotter red ones come out in the fall. Substitutes: jalapeno pepper OR Serrano pepper
ginnie pepper See cayenne pepper.
goldspike See guero.
guero = chile guero = yellow hot chile = caribe = Sante Fe grande = caloro = goldspike Substitutes: Hungarian wax chile peppers OR Fresno pepper OR jalapeno pepper OR serrano pepper
habanero chile Notes: These extremely hot chiles have a fruity flavor. They're best in the summertime. Substitutes: Scotch bonnet chiles (very close) OR manzana chile OR fresh cayenne peppers OR jalapenos OR Serrano peppers (use twice as many)
Holland chile = Dutch chile Substitutes: fresh cayenne pepper OR Fresno chile
hontaka pepper Substitutes: mirasol chile pepper
hot cherry pepper See cherry pepper.
hot Hungarian wax pepper See yellow wax pepper.
Hungarian cherry pepper See cherry pepper.
Hungarian wax pepper See yellow wax pepper.
jalapeno pepper Shopping hints: These popular chiles have a good amount of heat and rich flavor. Green jalapenos are best in the late summer, while red jalapenos appear in the fall. Canned jalapenos aren't as fiery as fresh. Substitutes: cuaresmeno (very similar) OR Fresno chile OR guero chile OR malagueta (hotter) OR serrano pepper OR yellow wax chile pepper OR fresh cayenne pepper
long green pepper See Anaheim chile.
malagueta pepper Substitutes: jalapeno (not as hot) OR tabasco sauce
manzana chile Notes: This habanero relative is often used in salsas. It has black seeds. Substitutes: habanero pepper OR Scotch bonnet chile
mirasol pepper Notes: Mirasol peppers have a distinctive fruity flavor. Substitutes: hontaka chili OR serrano pepper
New Mexico green chile = New Mexico chile = New Mexico red chile (when mature) Notes: These large chiles are similar in size to Anaheims, but they're hotter. New Mexico green chiles peak in the late summer, while the hotter New Mexico red chiles appear in the fall. Substitutes: Anaheim chile (milder) OR a combination of Anaheim chiles and jalapenos.
pasilla chile pepper See chilaca or ancho chile or poblano pepper.
piquant pepper = sport pepper Substitutes: poblano peppers
poblano pepper (fresh) = (incorrectly) ancho chile = (incorrectly) pasilla pepper Pronunciation: puh-BLAH-noh Notes: These mild, heart-shaped peppers are large and have very thick walls, which make them great for stuffing. They're best in the summer. Substitutes: Anaheim (Like poblanos, these are great for stuffing. Since they have a tougher skin, you may want to char, steam, and peel them first.) OR bell pepper (for stuffing, milder) OR canned chile peppers (preferably fire-roasted) OR Serrano pepper (hotter)
prik chi fa See Thai chile.
rocotillo Substitutes: another small, mild pepper
rocoto chile Notes: These hot chiles look like tiny bell peppers and have black seeds. They have an interesting fruity flavor. Substitutes: manzana chile (very similar) OR habanero (similar heat)
Sante Fe grande See guero.
Scotch bonnet chile Notes: This chile is almost indistinguishable from the habanero, except that it's a bit smaller. It's popular in the Caribbean. Substitutes: habañero chile OR Serrano chilies (use twice as many) OR jalapeno peppers (use twice as many)
Serrano pepper Pronunciation: seh-RAH-noh Notes: These have thin walls, so they don't need to be charred, steamed, and peeled before using. Substitutes: jalapeno (not as hot) OR Fresno chile (not as hot) or guero chile (not as hot) shishito chile Notes: This Japanese chile is very sweet and mild. It's about two inches long.
sport pepper See piquant pepper.
sweet banana pepper See banana pepper.
Thai bird chile See Thai chile.
Thai chile = bird pepper = Thai bird chile = prik chi fa = Thai jalapeno Substitutes: chile de Arbol OR fresh cayenne pepper OR jalapeno peppers (not as hot) OR Serrano peppers (not as hot)
Thai jalapeno See Thai chile.
Turkish pepper Substitutes: Anaheim pepper
xcatic chile Substitutes: yellow wax pepper OR guero pepper
yellow hot chile See guero.
yellow wax pepper = Hungarian wax pepper = hot Hungarian wax pepper Notes: These are easily confused with milder banana peppers. Sample before using. Substitutes: banana pepper (milder) OR guero
Dried Chile Peppers
ají panca chile = aji panca chile Notes: This reddish-brown chile is fruity and mild. ancho chile pepper = (incorrectly) pasilla chile Pronunciation: AHN-choh Notes: These are dried poblano peppers, and very commonly used in Mexican cuisine. They're brownish-black and wrinkled. Substitutes: mulato (darker with earthier, more pungent flavor) OR pasilla chile OR California chile OR dried New Mexico chile peppers
arbol chile See chile de arbol.
bola chile See cascabel pepper.
California chile Notes: These are dried Anaheim chiles, very mild. Substitutes: dried New Mexico chile peppers (a bit hotter) cascabel pepper = rattle chile = bola chile = chile bola Notes: These are nicknamed rattle chiles because the seeds rattle when you shake them. They're a rich brown color and moderately hot. Substitutes: guajillo OR pequin (much hotter) OR tepin (much hotter) OR cayenne (hotter)
cayenne pepper = Ginnie pepper Notes: These are very hot, bright red chiles. Recipes that call for cayenne pepper may be referring to a ground powder that goes by the same name, or to the fresh version of the pepper. Substitutes: chile de Arbol OR guajillo
chile bola See cascabel pepper.
chile de arbol = arbol chile = red chile Pronunciation: ARE-bowl Notes: Unlike many chiles, these remain bright red even after drying. They're fairly hot. Don't confuse the dried version with the fresh, which goes by the same name. Substitutes: cayenne pepper OR pequin chiles
chile negro See pasilla chile.
chiles de ristra See New Mexico red chile.
chile seco See chipotle pepper
chiltecpin See tepin.
chiltepin See tepin.
chiltpin See tepin.
chipotle pepper (chile) = smoked jalapeno pepper = chile seco Pronunciation: chuh-POT-lay Notes: These lend a wonderful smoky flavor to sauces. They're usually canned in adobo sauce, but you can also buy the dried peppers in cellophane bags. Substitutes: (for chipotles in adobo sauce) 1 tablespoon catsup + 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke + 1 jalapeno pepper OR morita (smaller) OR mora OR ancho (larger and milder)
Ginnie pepper See cayenne pepper.
guajillo chile Pronunciation: gwah-HEE-yoh Notes: These moderately hot chiles are smooth, shiny, and reddish-brown. They have a tough skin, so they need to be soaked longer than other chiles. Substitutes: cascabels (rounder and shorter) OR New Mexico chiles OR California chiles (milder) habanero (habañero) chile (or pepper) Pronunciation: hah-bah-NYAIR-oh Notes: Don't confuse dried habaneros with the fresh version, which goes by the same name. These extremely hot chiles are wrinkled and orange. Substitutes: chile de Arbol
Japanese dried chile
mirasol chile (dried) Substitutes: chile de Arbol
mora chile Notes: This is a smoked and dried red jalapeno pepper. Substitutes: chipotle chile OR morita chile (smaller)
morita pepper Notes: Like the larger mora chile, this is a smoked and dried red jalapeno. Substitutes: chipotle (larger) OR mora chile (larger) mulato chile = mulatto chile Pronunciation: moo-LAH-toe Notes: This very popular chile looks like the ancho, but it's darker and sweeter. It's fairly mild and has an earthy flavor. Substitutes: ancho chile (sweeter) New Mexico red chile = New Mexican chile = chiles de ristra Notes: These chiles have an earthy flavor and resemble the California chile, only they're hotter and more flavorful. Substitutes: California chile OR ancho chile pasilla chile = chile negro = pasilla negro Pronunciation: puh-SEE-yuh Notes: This is the dried version of the chilaca chile. It's long, black, and wrinkled, and a standard ingredient in mole sauces. Ancho chiles are sometimes mislabeled as pasillas. Substitutes: ancho chile (sweeter) OR mulato chile (stronger, earthier flavor)
piri piri pepper Substitutes: malagueta peppers
piquin pepper See pequin pepper.
puya chile = pulla chile Pronunciation: POO-yuh Notes: This is similar to the guajillo chile, only smaller and more potent. It has a fruity flavor.
rattle chile See cascabel pepper.
red chile See chile de arbol.
smoked jalapeno peppers See cayenne pepper.
tepin (tepín) = chiltpin (chiltpín) = chiltepin (chiltepín) = chiltecpin (chiltecpín) Notes: These look a bit like large dried cranberries. They're also sold fresh. Substitutes: pequin OR cascabel OR cayenne
Smaller peppers are usually hotter than larger peppers.
Peppers often become hotter as they ripen, and hotter still when they're dried. Dried peppers tend to have a richer, more concentrated flavor.
To tone down the heat of a pepper, cut it open and remove the seeds and the white ribs.
When working with peppers, wear rubber gloves or, in a pinch, coat your hands with vegetable oil. Wash your hands carefully afterwards.
Chiles don't freeze well.
And now for the good stuff:
click the pequin peppers below: