Bird's eye chilis: What is the best way to preserve them? ;o)

Our farmers' market is flush with gorgeous, just-picked bird's eye (also known as "Thai") chilis.
Should I pickle them? Dry them? Grind them up with aromatics into pastes to freeze? All of the above? Any hints or suggestions as to how to get the best results would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, everyone. ;o)



AntoniaJames July 31, 2015
Thank you, everyone. This is so helpful. How long does the infused oil keep? (I assume it must be refrigerated.) And what's the best ratio of pepper to oil, by volume? Thanks again! ;o)
702551 August 1, 2015
If you use fresh peppers for the infused oil, use the oil within a couple of weeks as moisture is an enemy of oil. If you're afraid of mold, you can refrigerate.

The best ratio of pepper to oil is different for each person depending on spiciness preference.

I think of infused pepper oil as a condiment, so make enough to last you a week or two. Also, I would make it hotter rather than milder, you can always cut the infused oil with regular oil.

Of course, you are free to make several batches with varying pepper amounts if you are particularly curious.

You can also make chili oils with dried peppers (of various kinds). Thus drying the fresh birdeyes chili peppers could later be used for such an oil. Chili oils from dried peppers is more common as fresh peppers are seasonal, but once dried, they can be used all year long. Even the chili oil from dried peppers should probably be used in a couple of weeks. It's not difficult or time-consuming to prepare.

Good luck!
Nancy July 31, 2015
Whenever I have extra hot chilies, I just freeze them whole, then use them as needed - whole in sauces and soups, chopped in pastes and more sauces, etc. They last at least a year or two...I've never had one go bad.
dinner A. July 31, 2015
I keep frozen stashes of all the chiles I use most (jalapeños, serranos, and bird chiles) and it works great -- you can use them pretty much as you would fresh ones. They're very easy to chop even when frozen and they probably keep better whole, so like Nancy, I also freeze them without trimming or chopping them at all.
702551 July 31, 2015
After cutting off the stems, I would freeze some whole, pickle another batch, and some as infused oil, just to have some variety.
702551 July 31, 2015
Oh, I'd also dry some.
Stephanie July 31, 2015
I immediately thought, "Infuse oil!" Who doesn't like spicy chile oil? Enjoy!
Susan W. July 31, 2015
I like your idea of all of the above. I dried some in my dehydrator, ground some up, left some whole. I froze a handful to use in Thai soups or stews this winter. Texture gone, of course, but the fresh flavor is there.
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