Japones Chiles

Japones Chiles
Japones Chiles
100664 003
Net Weight:
1 oz
Select Size:

What are Japones Peppers

Japones Peppers (pronounced ha-po-NAYS), Capsicum annum, are also called hontaka, santaka, and Oriental chile peppers. These are often confused with the Japanese specialty pepper Yatsufusa, also known as chiles Japones.

These chiles are very light, with approximately 35 chiles per ounce.

Japones Peppers are a very versatile chile and are one of the most common dried red chiles. These can be found relatively easily in larger urban areas in various Mexican bodegas and Indian, Korean, and other Asian markets. However, you'll often find these in bulk bins, and they're almost always missing their caps and stems.

A small pointed chile about 2" long and ½" wide, Japones Peppers resemble De Arbol Chiles in appearance, but the walls of the Japones are thicker and meatier.

Japones chiles are famous in the Caribbean and Latin American cuisine while also being a renowned chile in Chinese and Japanese dishes.


What do Japones Chiles Taste Like

The Japones Chile has a very clean and sharp taste, and the dried version has a more distinctive taste than the fresh one as the drying process tends to intensify the flavor. Japones peppers are not considered spicy but are used more for pure, simple heat.


Which is Hotter De Arbol Chiles or Japones Chiles

We considered Japones Peppers a hot chile, measuring between 15,000 and 30,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units).

De Arbol Chiles are also considered hot chiles and tip the scales at 15,000 – 30,000 SHU.


What are Japones Peppers Used For?

The cuisines of southeastern Asia tend to gravitate towards using chiles that do not have complex flavor profiles. Because the flavor is not complex, this allows better balance with the heavy usage of the very flavorful and widely used spices, cilantro, garlic, and lemongrass.

You'll find large bags of chiles in Hong Kong markets ubiquitously labeled "Chinese Chiles". These chiles tend to be either Thai Bird Chiles or Japones chiles, which are popular in the local crab shacks and dim sum houses. In addition, japones are a vital ingredient in Hunan and Sichuan-style dishes.

You'll find these fiery chiles in chutneys, salsas, sauces, and stir-fries. The Japones Pepper's high heat, little flavor, and slim form make them ideal for liquid infusions, like hot pepper oils and vodkas. They're frequently steeped in vegetable oils to release and enhance their flavor. Innovative bakers use Japones peppers in bread. 

We especially like these in Hot Peanut Sauces, Thai Basil Curry dishes, and Vegetable Jalfrezi.

Japones chiles may be used whole or ground or roasted whole, or broken, in a dry, hot pan. We've also finely minced them and added them to everything from barbecue sauces to relishes.


Japones Peppers Substitution

If you have a dish that calls for Japones Peppers but doesn’t have any, you can also use De Arbol Chiles as they have the same heat level, but if you crave a bit more heat, then you can also use either Tien Tsin chiles (50,000 – 70,000 SHU) or Thai chiles (70,000 – 130,000 SHU).


History of Japones Peppers

Some believe that Japones get their name from the Spanish word for Japanese. Chile pepper historians believe that the Japones Pepper is indigenous to Jalisco in the central valley of Mexico. Japones are not popular in Mexican cuisine. Because of this, there is little to no historical information on chile in that country.

A recent genomic study that presented the results of a high-throughput genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) study showed that Chile Japones’, several different cultivars of Serrano Chiles, Jalapenos, and De Arbol Chiles , were closely related to "the mother of all chiles" Chiltepíns1.


Cultivating Japones Chiles

Japones Chiles are grown in Veracruz and San Luis Potos, Mexico2. The Japones chile plant grows in upright clusters of 5 to 6 pods at the top of an 18" to 24" tall bushy plant. This pepper variety is quite productive, producing hundreds of pods per plant3, typically 60-120 chiles. The chiles ripen from green to red and mature in 70-80 days.


Where are Japones Peppers From?



Ingredients Japones Chiles
Also Called Hontaka, santaka, Oriental chile peppers, or Chinese chiles
Recommended Uses Used in chutneys, dim sum, infused oil, salsas, sauces, and stir-fries
Flavor Profile Clean and biting taste, with the dried version having, s a more distinctive taste than fresh
Scoville Heat Units 15,000 - 30,000 SHU
Botanical Name Capsicum annuum
Cuisine Caribbean, Chinese, Japanese, and Latin American
How To Store Airtight container in a cool, dark place
Shelf Life 1-2 years
Country of Origin India
Dietary Preferences Gluten-Free, Kosher, Non-GMO



Hungry for More Information

How Well do You Know Your Chiles
All About Sichuan Cuisine
The Flavors of China
Thai Spices and Seasonings




1 Pereira-Dias, L., Vilanova, S., Fita, A., Prohens, J., & Rodríguez-Burruezo, A. (2019). ). Genetic diversity, population structure, and relationships in a collection of pepper (Capsicum spp.) landraces from the Spanish centre of diversity revealed by genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS). Horticulture Research, 6(1).

2 Dewitt, D. (1999). The Chile Pepper Encyclopedia: Everything You’ll Ever Need To Know About Hot Peppers, With More Than 100 Recipes (1st ed.). William Morrow Cookbooks.

3 Japones Chiles . (n.d.). HR Seeds. Retrieved January 16, 2022.




Nutrition Facts

Serving Size1 chile, 0.8g

Amount Per Serving


% Daily Value*

Total Fat0g0%

Saturated Fat0g0%

Trans Fat0g

Polyunsaturated Fat0g

Monounsaturated Fat0g



Total Carbohydrate0.5g0%

Dietary Fiber0.0g0%

Total Sugars0.4g

Added Sugars0g0%

Sugar Alcohol0.0g


Vitamin D0mcg0%




*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice. These values were calculated and therefore are approximate. For more accuracy, testing is advised.

4.7 out of 5
15 total ratings.

Barbara J. (Verified buyer) 01/02/2022
Marinated olives Just the heat that flavored my recipe!

Karen C. (Verified buyer) 12/29/2021
Saved the day I was unable to find the chiles I needed locally and these came with plenty of time! Not only that, but the quality was excellent. I would definitely use Spice Inc again.

Patty D. (Verified buyer) 10/25/2021
Parrot food We buy dried peppers for my Quaker parrot, who loves them. The Japones peppers are the perfect size for her. Thank you for all the help I receive whenever I call.

Gus R. (Verified buyer) 08/22/2021
HOT Made my own chili crisp using these and guajillos. These gave the crisp heat for sure.

Hok H. (Verified buyer) 03/02/2021
Very nice great quality, color and aroma!

Colette g. (Verified buyer) 01/20/2021
Perfect Made an amazing Mexican red sauce ! Came on time and a very large amount. Would buy again for sure

Delores M. (Verified buyer) 04/23/2020
Hot stuff! Very good quality and great service.

Michael S. (Verified buyer) 02/06/2020
Great quality products, fast shipping, reasonable prices This is my go to source for hard to find spices and especially dried chilis.

Colin J. (Verified buyer) 04/01/2019
Hard to find elsewhere. This was my first order from Spices Inc. Delivery was quick and the peppers are of a good quality. I was having a hard time buying a large enough quantity of Japones to make our Roja salsa locally. I ordered 5lbs of them from Spices inc. and we are set for a month now. Thank you!

Elizabeth S. (Verified buyer) 03/09/2018
Great company I’m a first time business owner. I make salsas and your company has the freshest selections of product. Chile was received very quickly and it was all fresh. Thank you all for your hard work. I look forward to growing my business with your wonderful products.
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