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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Asian Cooking / Anyone use leaves from chili plants?
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    Anyone use leaves from chili plants?

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    Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:17 pm
    Experienced "Head Chef" Poster
    I never saw chili leaves used while I was in either Thailand or the Philippines; however I am aware of it being used in Indian curries. The leaves are fried in oil, which gently flavors the oil for the curry.

    I am aware that these leaves are used in the cooking of Central Thailand, the Bangkok area. I was in a different region where the cooking is dissimilar.
    Chef Jeeem
    Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:59 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I know this must sound terrible, but I really don't know!

    Although I love to cook, my Thai wife Mam has taken over the kitchen and does most of the cooking now. She uses many different kinds of greens in the various meals she cooks, both Western dishes and the myriad Asian dishes she whips up everyday.

    We live deep in the jungle of a very overgrown fruit orchard in Southern Thailand, in a very tiny, obscure village called Klong Tong Nea, about 12 kilometers (7.4 miles) from the Malaysian border, and what Mam doesn't pick locally, she harvests from the numerous herb and vegetable gardens around our small cottage.

    I'm not just talking basil, coriander, or cucumber here...I'm talking weird stuff. Greens I've never heard of. But, regarding the leaves of chili plants (of which we have many different species) I really don't know although it wouldn't surprise me.

    Ever heard of Phak Bung? It's an Asian Morning Glory, and it's delicious! Mam heats up a wok with some soy oil, and once smoking hot, she tosses in a bowl full of Phak bung, pickled soy bean, chilis, and sweet basil (kha phao), then stir fries it only until the morning glory is limp. Umm...ummm....

    Chef Jeeem
    cs janrung
    Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:55 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Thanks for inviting me to join this discussion. I live in Thailand, and I asked my husband-he is a Thai- about your question. He said that yes, they do use chili leaves in some of their dishes-mostly soups. Most of the Thais who use the chili leaves come from the South part of Thailand.
    The chili leaves are a very light spicy taste. When used in soups they enhance the flavor of the dish, and add a slight sweet flavor to the soup. They can be used in any type of soup, and it's always best to pick the young leaves for use in cooking. I hope my answer is of some use to you. icon_smile.gif
    Leggy Peggy
    Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:12 am Groupie
    cs janrung wrote:
    I hope my answer is of some use to you. icon_smile.gif

    It sure is of help. Please ask your husband if the leaves can come from any old chili plant, or only certain varieties?

    And to everyone who is stopping in -- thanks so much for all your contributions -- even if your answer is I don't know. icon_wink.gif It's wonderful to learn more about a subject that so many of us know so little about.
    Chef Jeeem
    Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:25 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Hey Peggy,

    I just asked my wife Mam if she uses leaves from her chili plants and her answer, verbatim, was...

    "Yes! Of course! But not in your food Jeeem. Only in my Isaan food."

    Isaan food being her recipes from her home village of Wang Hu Gwang, in Chum Phae, Khon Kaen province.

    Chef Jeeem
    Leggy Peggy
    Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:37 am Groupie
    Chef Jeeem wrote:
    Hey Peggy,

    "Yes! Of course! But not in your food Jeeem. Only in my Isaan food."

    rotfl.gif rotfl.gif rotfl.gif Are you going make her let you try them? Be sure to say please. icon_wink.gif
    Pretty Pinky
    Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:37 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Hi everyone and thanks for inviting me here, Molly. I'm Thai from Bangkok who lives in Singapore at the moment. For myself, I never cook Thai food with chili leaves before but when I researched about Thai cooking with chili leaves then I found out that there are a few dishes that you can use chili leaves too. For example, you can put it in green curry paste uses for cooking Thai green curry soup and put in soup also. Most of the dishes are spicy soup(both thick and clear) and in Isan food as Chef Jeeem mentioned. You can use it in "Hor Mok Pla or Steamed Curry Fish" by put it at the bottom of banana left bowl. Not only that, you can deep fried chili leaves also like Japanese Tempura. It can be use as substituted with spinach in sandwiches too.

    Here are examples of Thai recipes that use chili leaves as an ingredient.

    1. Kaeng Kae Kai or chicken in vegetable soup

    2.Hoh Mok Pla or steamed curried fish; use chili leaves instead of fresh yaw leaves

    I hope this will answer your question and enjoy cooking icon_smile.gif
    Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:04 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Ack, you're teaching English in Japan?! I'd love to chat with you to find out more - I got CELTA-certified over a year ago and would like to return to Japan to teach. won't let me PM you, though. icon_sad.gif
    Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:29 pm
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    Yeah, I`ve been teaching in the Junior high and high schools now for 3 years. I`d love to answer any questions yo might have.

    If you can`t PM me, my email is David43515 at hotmail dot com. Just put something about teaching English or Recipezaar in the header so I notice it.


    Note from an Asian Forum Host -- David, I edited your post to alter your exact email. Spammers can pick up email addresses in Zaar forums and I don't want you bombarded with those -- so I changed @ to at and . to dot. Cheers LeggyPeggy.
    Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:00 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    How entirely random that a thread invite on chili leaves in SE Asian cooking would lead to a contact in the English teaching field in Japan. Gotta love the wonderful world wide web! icon_biggrin.gif
    cs janrung
    Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:48 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I asked my husand about what kind of chili leaves could be used and he said they mostly used phrik kee noo leaves, but he supposed that any chili leaves could be used. Phrik kee noo is a small, very hot and spicy Thai chili pepper. If you should ever experiment with Phrik kee noo, be very careful.
    So, experiment with some chili pepper leaves, and have some fun!!
    Leggy Peggy
    Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:15 am Groupie
    FuzzyKiwi wrote:
    How entirely random that a thread invite on chili leaves in SE Asian cooking would lead to a contact in the English teaching field in Japan. Gotta love the wonderful world wide web! icon_biggrin.gif

    Great, isn't it. So what's the next question? Anyone can start a thread. Go to the Asian Cooking page and a little down from the top, you can click on 'New Topic' -- then ask away. We'd love to have lots of questions going, or threads discussing topics of general interest. It's a great way to learn and to make unexpected contacts.
    Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:15 pm
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    I can`t wait for spring to get here so I can actually try these out. I doubt if I can buy Chili leaves in the local super market, so I`ll have to grow my own. Fresh chilies too, so it`s a double win!!
    Chef #1045334
    Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:02 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    This is odd. Chilies and peppers (all capsicum) are in the nightshade family and the leaves of most of these plants are toxic. I would stay away from chili leaves.

    George (author of What Recipes Don't Tell You)
    Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:36 am Groupie
    Gday and VERY interesting topic; love when we all can learn from something

    have seen a number of recipes that is the chili leaves as garnish

    and here's one that actuall uses it

    here's they are written as sili leaves


    I would tend to think they would be a bit bitter and seemingly are used as substitution for spinach leaves BUT it also seems can be only used in certain types of recipes and would not be adding them to "all and sundry" as they would say in the States

    Hope this helps
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