5 Best Substitutes For Red Chili Pepper (With Photos)

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Substitutes For Red Chili Pepper



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What happens when you run out of hot chili pepper while cooking? Well, the best step to take at this time is look for the best possible substitutes for red chili pepper – and furtunately, there are many of them.

You can use Jalapeno pepper, serrano pepper, or cayenne pepper as alternatives for the red Chili pepper. Tien Tsin chili pepper and pequin chili pepper can easily be used too.

We have a comprehensive list of the best chili pepper substitutes for any meal you are preparing.

However, in whatever substitute you consider, make sure you do not add chili pepper in excess because you do not want to make your meal hotter than it should be.

What Is Red Chili Pepper?

What Is Red Chili Pepper

Chili pepper (Capsicum frutescens) is a spice used in cuisines to add heat to dishes. According to scientists, capsaicin is what gives the red chili pepper its intensity when applied or ingested.

Chili pepper comes in different varieties, but the red chili pepper is the most consumed by lots of people worldwide.

The pepper is quite popular in Indonesia and other tropical countries because of its spicing benefits, spectacular taste, sweetness, smokiness, and sourness when added to meals.

The red chili pepper is actually the fruit obtained from the capsicum pepper plant. They contain a considerable number of vitamins and minerals.

But because they are peppers, we consume them in small amounts, as they do not contribute to our daily micronutrient intake.

What Can I Substitute for Red Chili Pepper?

One of the essential factors to consider when looking for the best substitute for red chili pepper is the heat, smokiness, and sweetness of the pepper.

Below is a carefully prepared list to guide you choose an excellent substitute for red chili pepper.

1. Serrano Pepper

Serrano Pepper

The serrano pepper is usually harvested when green, and it’s pretty hotter than the red chili pepper. The Serrano pepper is one of the hottest chilies.

It is used mainly in the southwest of the United States, but you can get them within your local markets.

Although it’s not as popular as Jalapenos, it’s still used by a lot of people. Ensure you adapt to the level of the heat of serrano pepper

2. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne Pepper

Interestingly, the cayenne pepper has a chili finger shape and a curved and pointy end. Its spiciness level ranges from mildly hot to intense hot.

Its intensity level is entirely dependent on its growing conditions and type. You can get them fresh or dried in your local food store.

3. Pequin Chili Pepper

Pequin Chili Pepper

Thepequinchili pepper is rectangular and about an inch long. They are very hot chili pepper, and as a result of the cultivation process, they are harder to get than others.

Their rounded nature makes them easier to smoke with wood to give a unique taste.

4. Jalapeno Pepper

Jalapeno Pepper

The Jalapeno pepper is a medium-sized chili pepper with an intensity level ranging from mild to moderate amount of heat, used mainly to add flavor and spice up your meal.

They are popular with Mexican cuisines and also around the world. The dark green chilies are most common amongst all other chilies. Its intensity level ranges from medium to very hot.

5. Tien Tsin Chiles

Tien Tsin Chiles

The tien tsin chili peppers are named after a province of northern china in which they are harvested. Never allow the cute appearance of this bright red pepper to fool you.

Its intensity level is extremely hot. Their heat ranges from about fifty thousand (50,000) to seventy-five thousand (75,000) Scoville heat units. When substituting with this, make sure not to add much of it.

Dried Red Chili Pepper Substitutes

Dried red chili peppers are mostly popular in Mexican cuisine. Even when dried, they retain their red color. The pepper has smooth skin and adds a memorable aroma and taste to your meals.

If you do not have dried red chili pepper available at home, we have a list of perfect substitutes for them below:

1. Paprika

As a substitute for dried red chili pepper, you can add paprika. If you intend to add 10 red chili pepper to be on the safer side, use 2 paprika. You can always add some vegetables to paprika to make pork.

2. Cayenne Chili Pepper

Another best substitute for red chili pepper is the cayenne chili pepper. It is a thin chili pepper, green to red, about 2 to 5 inches long.

3. Dried Poblano Pepper

One of the dried chili peppers we highly recommend for you to use on your meal, such as soup and meat, is the dried poblano pepper. The dried poblano pepper is low in heat compared to others. It is delightful and tasty to add to meals

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Red Chili Peppers Hot?

The hotness level of red chili pepper ranges from medium hot to very hot. If you are not familiar with hot chili pepper, they will be hotter for you to use.

The red chili pepper is fruity in flavor, making it an excellent choice for a recipe when preparing salsa, chili sauces, and adobo sauces.

Can You Substitute Jalapenos For Red Chilies?

With the hotness level of jalapenos ranging from mild to moderate, the jalapenos are an excellent substitute used mainly to add flavor and spice up your meal.

Can I Substitute Chili Powder For Chili Pepper?

When preparing your meal, Chili powder like paprika could be used in small quantities to substitute chili pepper. Because of its mild heat, it is safer to use a small amount of chili pepper.

Can Paprika Be Substituted For Red Pepper?

Paprika is a kind of chili powder that has more capsaicin in it. Technically paprika could be substituted for red pepper in a meal recipe.

However, when you do this, add paprika in a small amount, so you don’t get to breathe fire as the food will be too hot.

Is Cayenne Pepper The Same As Red Chili Pepper?

According to the American Spice Trade Association, Red pepper is the name used to refer to all hot red pepper spice.

While on the other hand, Cayenne pepper is a preferred name for the same type of product. However, the cayenne pepper has more capsaicin. Hence it is hotter than the red pepper.

What’s Hotter, Red Chili, Or Jalapeno?

Capsaicin is the chemical that makes hot peppers considered “Hot.” On a Scoville scale, the capsaicin level of red chili is about 16,000,000 capsaicin, while capsaicin is about 2,500 to 8,000. Hence red chili is hotter.

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Conclusion | Substitutes For Red Chili Pepper

If you are not used to peppery food, it is advised you start with little quantities of red chili pepper for your meals. With time, you can probably progress to a larger amount of pepper based on your taste bud.

Don’t panic if you noticed you ran out of hot chili pepper while cooking. There are various substitutes for red chili pepper likeJalapeno pepper, Serrano pepper, and cayenne pepper.

Serrano pepper is your surest bet if you want something a bit hotter than the average red chili pepper.


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