Tien Tsin Chile Pepper Stats
Name: Tien Tsin
Length: 1 - 2"
Width: ¼ - ½"
Scientific Name: Capsicum annuum
Other Names: tianjin pepper
Scoville Range: 50,000 - 75,000
Tien Tsin Chile Pepper Origin and History
The Tien Tsin chile derives its name from the Chinese province of the same name where the peppers were originally harvested. This pepper is now grown in many locations, including the United States. Once considered an exotic in the United States, it is increasingly available at Asian markets in this country.
Tien Tsin Chile Pepper Description
This very hot and shiny bright red chile has a slender shape like the cayenne pepper. The fruits, which mature from green to red, point upward on the bush. Sun dried pods are so light in weight, it takes dozens of pods to make one ounce. The plants produce relatively low yields.
The fruit has a pungent and musty flavor that imparts a spicy taste to food and is slightly reminiscent of Italian red pepper. The plentiful seeds are extremely hot and can overpower the flavor of the fruit; because of this some recipes recommend discarding the seeds.
Tien Tsin Chile Pepper How to Serve or Use
Tien Tsin chiles are very common in Asian cuisine. Among Chinese dishes it particularly lends itself to Hunan and Szechuan cooking styles. Dishes that use Tien Tsin peppers include, among many others, spicy Szechuan shrimp, curd rice (Asian Indian comfort food), lemon rice, and chicken curry in rice yogurt milk. Tien Tsin chile is an important ingredient in kung pao dishes, which combine chicken, seafood, or vegetables with peanuts in sesame sauce with hot chile paste and ginger.
Asian cooks sometimes add the whole pod to soups and stir-fry dishes and remove it before serving. Another way to use Tien Tsin chiles is to grind them into course flakes. Tien Tsin chiles also make a hot and toasty chile oil.
Contemporary Cajun and Creole cooking use Tien Tsin chiles to add heat to jambalaya, the traditional spicy meat, shellfish, and vegetable stew.
Tien Tsin is popular for making infused oil and the pepper's high staining capability results in a deep red colored oil.
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