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Thai Chili Peppers

mariacarmen | Mar 21, 201008:03 PM     3

I'm not sure if this post actually goes here or on the SF/Bay Area Board . . . I'm in San Francisco and have been to a Thai restaurant called Osha Thai a couple of times. In their condiment tray there is a container of what appears to be blackened/toasted dried and crushed chili peppers - not in an oil. I've never seen this before in any Thai restaurant, but they werea great addition, with good heat and an incredibly delicious smokiness. The first time we asked, our server said they were "just a Mexican chili." The second time were visited, we were told they were Thai chlis and could be found at Mei Wah on Clement. The whole dried chili pod is maybe 2-3 inches long. We went to Mei Wah, as well as two other Thai markets in the Mission. All three markets had FRESH Thai chilis, much smaller than the ones at the restaurant - prik ki nhu, i believe - but the only DRIED chilis of a similar size/appearance that weren't Mexican were "Japones" - Japanese, put out by a Mexican spice company. And none of them were already toasted. We went to all the markets on Clement, and it was the same story: either fresh little red Thai chilis, or dried red Japones chliis. I'm unclear if the restaurant is buying fresh chilis and then drying/toasting them themselves, although they were not the right size, or using the Japoneses and blackening them. - but I tried that myself and the flavor/aroma was nothing like the chlis in the restaurant. Anyone have any idea? Anyone ever had these in a Thai restaurant before?

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