Skinless chilli peppers 金品剝皮辣椒
Since coming to live in Taiwan, I have discovered a local delicacy that my husband absolutely adores. Like most local stuff, it doesn’t have an English name so I’m going to call it skinless chilli peppers, which is its Chinese name as well. This is what it looks like.
剝皮辣椒是我到台灣後發現的美食，老公尤其喜愛。 它是一種非常百搭的食物，可以煲雞湯，炒餸，伴粥麵， 愛刺激的話就這樣吃也可以。金品是其中一個著名牌子，只在花蓮出售。 要吃的話除了郵購就只能直接到花蓮購買。 我最近到花蓮其中一個主要目的，就是購買金品剝皮辣椒。
WHAT ARE SKINLESS CHILLY PEPPERS?
These are made from green cayenne peppers which aren’t as hot as the red ones. They are deep fried for about 20 to 30 seconds then plunged into iced water to remove the skin. Then they are deseeded and bottled in a special marinade ready for consumption. These little devils have an intense flavour, are a little crunchy and very versatile. The most popular recipe is chicken soup. I made this earlier this week, black chicken with skinless pepper soup.
You can also stir fry the skinless chilli peppers with chicken (not sure why it’s always chicken in the restaurants and not beef or pork), add them to stir fry noodles, noodles in soup, rice porridge or even eat them straight if you fancy a nibble with a kick. I introduced them to my brother in law last year and he’s another fan now. He got really creative and made a toastie topped with cheese. Hubby loves it.
The most famous brand of skinless chilli pepper is called Jinpin from Hualien on the east coast. They don’t sell them in shops outside of Hualien so if you’re not local, you can only mail order them. One main aim of my recent trip to Hualien was to stock up on them. Jinpin has three shops in Hualien. I went to their original shop which is outside of the city. It’s just a little shop by the side of the road which you can easily miss if you drive too fast.
店鋪在花蓮市外一條公路旁邊，並不起眼，開車快一點也會看不到。 名產店舖不用靠裝潢 ，只在冰箱和貨架上放了一瓶瓶的剝皮辣椒。 旁邊有一張小桌，一位伯伯正在徒手切新鮮辣椒， 而另一邊牆壁又擺了四袋辣椒。我自己買了3瓶剝皮辣椒， 又幫鄰居代買。結果一共買了30瓶!
The shop itself wasn’t very large nor flashy as the product sells itself. There was a table full of the green peppers inside and a grandpa was slicing the stalks off. I think it’s very brave of grandpa to work without gloves. Four other sacks of green peppers were sitting on one side of the shop.
The lady in the shop was very friendly and let us sample the different varieties, but we knew exactly what we wanted. The original skinless chilli peppers. We wanted 3 bottles for ourselves, and I had a shopping list for my neighbours. We ended buying 30 bottles in total!! Here’s the two boxes for my neighbours.
FREEZING THE SKINLESS CHILLI PEPPERS
The skinless chilli peppers have no preservatives and in theory last about six months. I kept my last bottle in the fridge for over a year and it didn’t lose its flavour nor kill me, but it did become a little mushy. The lady in the shop suggested that we split them into little bags and freeze them to maintain its texture. Hubby is a happy bunny now that we’re stocked up for some time.
剝皮辣椒是脆脆的，但如果浸在醬料裡太久就會變得軟軟，所以一瓶剝皮辣椒一般建議大概六個月就要吃完。 我之前一瓶放在冰箱裏超過一年， 味道沒變，我亦沒有食物中毒，只是口感有點不一樣。 店裡售貨員建議我們可以把剝皮辣椒放入密實袋裏，然後放進冷藏櫃 ，這樣就可以保持口感。 家裏現在貨源充足，老公又很開心喔！