Things You'll Need
Freshly harvested Thai Dragon peppers
Twine or wire, cut to desired length
Strong sewing needle
Glass containers with airtight lids
Thai Dragon peppers are small thin peppers that grow in a variety of red and green hues. They are easy to cultivate and typically produce abundant crops. These Thai peppers are extremely hot and are used in many Asian dishes. The two most common ways to dry them are air-drying and oven-drying. Once dried, they are easily preserved whole in glass jars or crushed into flakes or powder for use as a spice in food preparation. Ground Thai peppers should be stored in airtight glass containers. They can also be frozen.
String your peppers into a traditional "ristra," or hanging strand of vegetables, to air dry. Knot a length of twine or wire at the bottom to keep the peppers from slipping off. Pierce each pepper through the fleshy top of the pepper, just under the stem cap, using a wire or a needle threaded with twine. Add peppers until your ristra is the length you want.
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Hang each ristra individually from rafters or hangers in a dry location away from direct sunlight. Rotate the strands every two to three days to ensure even air circulation and light exposure. Remove the peppers when they are completely dry; this may take two to three weeks, depending on the local humidity.
Set the oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the Thai Dragon peppers in a single layer on baking sheets. Be sure the peppers are not touching each other. Put the baking sheets into the oven. Because of their small size, most Thai peppers will dry completely in six hours using this method.
Remove the dried peppers from the ristras from the top down. Place fully air-dried and oven-dried whole peppers in glass jars with tightly sealed lids and store in a cool dark place. You can also crush the dried peppers into flakes or powder. Store these versions in glass containers in a cool dark cabinet or in the freezer.
Unlike some other varieties of peppers, which retain no flexibility when completely dried, Thai Dragon peppers will be crispy but still flexible when they are successfully dried.
Avoid touching your eyes or face while handling these hot Thai peppers; you may want to wear Latex or rubber gloves while working with them.
- Cultivating Life; Tradition; Chilerestras and Freezing, Drying, and Storing Peppers
- Colorado State University; Drying Vegetables; Kendall, DePersio and Sofos; March 2008
- Scott Roberts; Ultimate Guide to Drying Hot Peppers; Scott Roberts; February 17, 2008
- Happy Living: Thai Chili Pepper Taste, Cooking and Preparation; Jeffrey Bouley; 2009