They come in so many shapes, sizes, and colors — there are red chilis, green chilis, orange chilis, yellow chilis. Some are tiny little fruits and others are gigantic. Some are round and some are pointy. Some are mild and almost sweet; some are so spicy they’re just downright painful. There’s so, so many of them.
Well-known chilis include the jalapeno, habanero, Thai, serrano, cayenne, Scotch bonnet, and others, but that’s not even close to a full list.
While chilis are now common throughout many East and Southeast Asian cuisines, that wasn’t always the case. Chilis originated in the Americas but spread throughout the world and to Asia when goods and foods (and diseases) were exchanged between the New and Old Worlds.
Subsequently, different types of chilis have been used in many different Asian cuisines for centuries. They’re most common in Southeast Asia, Korea, and certain regional Chinese cuisines.
Chilis can be dried, powdered, chopped, cooked whole, pureed, and more. They can also be smoked, which is how you create the chipotle.
You can find different varieties of whole chilis in our produce section at Uwajimaya, and we also carry different chili powders in our spice aisles.