16 Jun2007

Stuffed Green Chilies

by Marketman


It’s not often that I have been totally unable to hunt down the scientific name, or even the English name, if there is one for an ingredient featured on this blog. I have struggled with siling mahaba or siling pansigang before, but still haven’t nailed a scientific name. sili2Because the chili family is a very varied one, I think the best I can do is to say it is probably a capsicum annuum, possibly a descendent or distant relative of the Anaheim chilies which are in turn known as green chilies and used in Mexican stuffed peppers. At the market a few weeks ago, I came across these utterly stunning green chilies and I had to have some. My suki said they were like siling mahaba but just bigger and greener…and folks liked to cook them stuffed with meat. The only government agricultural document I have found on long green chilies describes three different types of long green chilies as being of the django, hotpot and hotshot varieties. It doesn’t help that some folks refer to these as finger chilies in some material… at any rate, these just LOOKED terrific so I bought a kilo or so of them. I went through a large basket of the chilies and picked the biggest ones…

Siling mahaba are generally very mild to medium mild and I am used to buying the light green colored ones which I use in a Bicol Express recipe. These large dark green chilies were almost twice as long and much bigger than the siling mahaba. One of these exceeded 9 inches! My suki said they weren’t that spicy and I believed her. Back at home, I made a sili3ground pork stuffing with onions, garlic, tomato paste, paprika and grated parmesan (sautéed in a pan with olive oil) and de-seeded the chilies, stuffed them and baked them for about 15 minutes. The finished product looked terrific, and expecting a mild hit of spiciness, I loaded up on the rice and took two whole sili and placed them on my plate. Confident these were mild and even possibly sweetish, having de-seeded them and removed a lot of the pith, I took a big piece of a chili and chewed on it and my mouth literally EXPLODED on the Scoville Heat scale. These were NOT mild. It wasn’t like eating siling labuyo straight, but these had serious heat! I finished the two chilies but let’s just say it was a painful experience. So much for believing my suki! I have to go back and tell her they were spicy! Our crew couldn’t even eat just the meat stuffing, the chili oils had permeated the meat and made it unbearably spicy. I think it didn’t help that there was olive oil and a slow bake and the heat from the skin, pith and few seeds had time to really develop… Not sure I would do this again unless the chilies were a lot milder…

Still hungry for more spice? Check out some of these posts with some or medium heat (all with siling mahaba)…
Grilled Galunggong & Siling Mahaba
Sinigang na Bangus at Bayabas
Tortang Dulong
Bicol Express
A fiery discussion on who “invented” Bicol Express
Ginataang Talong at Tinapang Galunggong
Sinigang na Baboy
Sinampalukang Manok
Sugpo, Kalabasa at Sitaw sa Gata
Prawns with Siling Mahaba
An early post on sili (labuyo and pansigang) for the curious



  1. Cookie says:

    I saw huge finger sili in Kuala Lumpur. I also had a really bad experience with it when I was sampling their supposed national dish, nasi lemak.

    Jun 16, 2007 | 12:25 pm


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  3. Maria Clara says:

    Sorry to hear your unfortunate chile incident. We cannot win everything there are times things slide off the path. Just add it onto your culinary scholar experience Chile Rellenos is a main feature in Mexican and Latin fare. They use either Ancho, Pasilla or Anaheim chiles which are milder – less spicy in terms of heat level. Anaheim is the sweetest of the three. Ancho is hotter than Pasilla Their skin is removed like making tortang talong and filled their cavities with either Monterey Jack cheese, cheddar or Mexican cheese and baked with red sauce which is also made out of chile or green sauce made out of tomatillo or mole which is chocolate and then top with grated cheese again and bake in the oven. It is similar to lasagna in terms of cooking. Serve with red rice, refried beans, red and green salsa and pitcher of Margarita is good.

    Jun 16, 2007 | 1:02 pm

  4. flip4ever says:

    That big and that hot ??? That’s a lot of capsaicin inside in each pepper. I wonder if people will now have problems using the siling mahaba for anything if they can’t gauge how hot each pepper is going to be. If this is a different cultivar from the siling mahaba, someone growing this (or distributing it if its an import) should probably give it a different name.

    Jun 16, 2007 | 1:32 pm

  5. lurkerfromnippon says:

    I don’t know if they’re available over there, but Japanese shishito peppers are great for making stuffed pepper dish. They’re almost thumb-sized and taste from sweet to sweet-hot, the “hotness” nowhere near that of the chili pepper variety. The Japanese also love these in their tempura.

    Jun 16, 2007 | 1:44 pm

  6. tulip says:

    Marketman, siling mahaba or even the one in your photos scientific name is indeed Capsicum annuum. The only difference is the variety or cultivar. For siling haba, it is scientifically named as Capsicum annuum var.longum. For the ones in the photo I am not sure from which cultivar that is from but maybe either from Ancho or Jalapeno if not from Longum.

    Jun 16, 2007 | 2:02 pm

  7. Apicio says:

    For those interested, here is a link to a recent LA Times article about the hottest Chile, far hotter that Habaneros or Scot’s bonnets. What caught my attention is:
    “Chile-laden meals have been shown to boost energy expenditure in several human trials. In one study, for instance, 10 grams of dried hot pepper added to breakfast increased energy expenditure by 23% immediately after the meal and for more than two hours afterward.” Can anyone explain to me what this means.


    Jun 16, 2007 | 9:03 pm

  8. elaine says:

    hello, the chillies looked like the ones my ‘lola’ friend bought in the alabang market. her suki said it was not hot but when my friend made it into bikol express, she just turned smoking red!!!! it was thaaat hot! she makes really good bicol express and when she would buy sili, she would always de-seed it in salt water or washing them off in same solution just to make it a bit mild. we still managed to enjoy the dish but with lots of rice than the usual..

    Jun 16, 2007 | 9:16 pm

  9. Chinachix says:

    interesting that i should read about this in your blog today, when i saw a very similar dish being featured in giada de laurentiis’s “weekend getaway” show (she was in mexico) just last night…

    Jun 17, 2007 | 10:28 am

  10. Marketman says:

    Chinachix, cool… I didn’t see that show, but did the heat blow her head away or were they the milder variety of chili? Apicio, I am hoping that eating spicy food forces your body to burn more calories…

    Jun 17, 2007 | 11:05 am

  11. ykmd says:

    Thanks Apicio, that link was interesting. Hmmm, MM you might want to look into making capsaicin/capsiate capsules as a mighty metabolism modifier under the MarketMan brand :)

    Jun 17, 2007 | 9:43 pm

  12. Shirley says:

    For stuffed chile peppers, there are Poblano chiles identified here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poblano,
    which are very mild.
    I’m located in San Diego, close to the Tijuana/US border, and have many Mexican friends which have shared many a mexican dish with me.
    The Chile Relleno dish that I enjoy uses fresh, grilled poblano chiles, stuffed with cheeses and maybe bread crumbs, dipped in egg, fried and oh so yummy for the tummy!
    My apology for not having an exact recipe but it’s prolly easy to find one online.

    Jun 18, 2007 | 2:27 am

  13. CecileJ says:

    Apicio, MM is right: I did read somewhere that eating spicy food helps burn calories.

    MM, LOL!!! Ang ganda pa naman tignan yung rellenong sili, inedible pala!

    Jun 18, 2007 | 2:16 pm

  14. Subspace says:

    When I was young and my visiting my grandparents in Southern California, it was standard BBQ fare to throw a bunch of Anaheim chilies on the grill when the heat got low. Once the skin had charred, you slid the skin off and then dragged the limp chili meat through garlic butter. Everyone stood around the grill dripping garlic butter down their faces, slurping the warm chilies.

    I bring this up because I LOVED eating chilies like this, and one evening as we pulled the charred chilies off the grill I could hardly wait to eat one and took a gluttonously huge bite. And then felt my eyeballs boil. The whole batch of Anaheim chilies was so hot we couldn’t eat them. I was disappointed to say the least.

    These freak hot Anaheims occurred maybe a few times over the years. I suppose they could have been a similar-looking chili and not an Anaheim (we often bought them off Mexican produce stands by the side of the road), but I think they may have been unusually spicy ones, just like one crop of onions can be hotter than another.

    Jun 19, 2007 | 6:21 am

  15. buckythetarayslayer says:

    MM, I have another kind of sili that my lola from Bicol gave me, I think it’s meant to be decorative than for eating coz it’s not so maanghang, but it looks really pretty coz the fruit comes in different colors, so in one pot you have green, purple, red, yellow and orange sili all together. Very pretty, and it’s shaped like little bulbs so it kinda looks like a Christmas sili tree… =)

    Aug 15, 2007 | 4:31 am

  16. Frau says:

    I live in New Mexico – our state vegetable is the Green Chile. The most common variety are Big Jim and Sandia. From your description and photo, that could be them. They are far much better than the Anaheim, and have more “meat” to them.
    They are “that big and that hot”. They are a meaty chile as well.

    The heat of a chile can vary from grower to grower because of how they are watered. A lot of watering and you get a mild chile. Just a little water to keep it alive, and you get a hotter chile.

    Next time you de-seed them, try to remove more of the “placenta” that the seeds are attatched to. That should bring down the heat a little.

    That dish you made looks delicious. Link to a recipe?

    Maybe try roasting the peppers over the fire, to remove the skin, next time for a different taste.

    Jun 26, 2008 | 12:39 am

  17. Maki says:

    I’ve seen this in a tv show before… but they stuffed only cheese on it….

    I don’t know the taste….

    Nov 20, 2008 | 3:58 pm


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