Thai Bird Chiles

Thai Bird Chiles
Thai Bird Chiles
100771 003
Net Weight:
1 oz
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Thai Bird Chiles, Capsicum annuum, are also called bird chiles, Thai chiles, or Thai chili peppers.

There are approximately 55 chiles per ounce.

What are Thai Bird Chiles

Thai Bird Chiles typically about 2" to 3" long and .25" in diameter, red in color, thin and pointed, they're closely related to the cayenne chile and they have a thin but tough textured outer skin that packs a fiery heat that lingers with cooking.

In Thai there are five balancing flavors - bitter, salty, sour, sweet, and spicy with heat sitting on top of the four core flavors. The bright red color of this chile pepper plays a leading role. Both fresh and dried red Thai chile peppers are often used whole to add to the visual appearance of a dish.

History of Thai Chiles

Ask a typical Thai where chiles come from and many would probably swear that chiles are indigenous to Thailand as chiles are so indispensable to their cooking and deeply entrenched in their culture.

Chiles are believed to have made it to the city of Ayutthaya (pronounced “aa-yoo-tuh-yaa) during the 16th century. At the time Ayutthaya was a large trade center and while it is generally assumed that the Portuguese were responsible for the arrival of chiles it could have also been Indian merchants or Spanish explorers who were also frequent travelers to this region during that period of time. Where there is no debate is that chiles were almost immediately embraced by the Thais and today they're a key ingredient in numerous dishes. Since their introduction, Thai chile peppers have been selectively bred for generations to create numerous cultivars that are called Thai chiles. One of the earliest written records on the use of Thai Chiles was by Sunthorn Phu, the royal poet during the reign of King Rama II (who ruled from 1809 – 1824), who mentioned chile and salt as ingredients for venison.

Until 1939 Thailand was known as Siam and it's the only Southeast Asian country never colonized by the West. This helped Thailand maintain its own unique cuisine. However, that cuisine has been greatly influenced by its Asian neighbors.

Thai Chile Pepper Cultivation

Chiles are considered one of the most important vegetable crops in Thailand and of the 79 cultivars of chiles grown in the country there are two cultivars that make up the majority of the commercial production -- bird pepper, called "prik khee nu", and the ubiquitously named "chili", called "prik khee fab". The bird pepper variety is the more popular of the two and in the last reporting year (as reported by the United Nations) there were over 175,000 acres devoted to chiles in Thailand with almost 70% of this acreage is devoted to the bird peppers.

Thai Chiles grow best when the daytime temperatures are between 70 and 85°F during the day and 60 to 70°F at night. The plant reaches a height of 16” and matures in 65-75 days. The chiles grow in clusters and they mature from green to light yellow, to orange and finally to red. Bird Peppers are typically 2" to 3" long, about .25" in diameter and the crop is primarily raised from farmer-saved seed so there is some flavor and heat differences from area to area.

Where Are Our Thai Bird Chiles From


What Do Thai Bird Chiles Taste Like

A slight fruity taste with a strong spiciness and nutty top notes.

How Hot Are Thai Bird Chiles

These chiles are considered a crazy hot chile and come it at 70,000 to 130,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units).

What Are Thai Bird Chiles Used For

In the last 10-15 years Americans have become enamored with crazy hot chiles and hot sauces. Now while Thai food is some of the hottest and spiciest around in the world, Thai chefs find the West's fixation on heat for heat's sake to be a bit of an adolescent approach to chiles. In Thailand chiles have been an integral part of the cuisine for centuries and they look at the point of chiles as not just the heat but the way chiles should enhance the flavors of other ingredients.

When it comes to Thai cuisine, attention to detail is of paramount importance with each step being just as important as the one before it and the one that follows. Each component of a Thai meal must satisfactorily appeal to four of your five senses and Thai cuisine is based around five essential flavors: salty, sour, spicy, bitter and sweet. Chiles aren't meant to overwhelm or clobber the taste buds but to act as a counterpoint to the other four essential flavors (the chiles are considered a spicy essential flavor) .

Thai cuisine has a subtle complexity that often revolves around cilantro, coconut, galangal, lemongrass and rice. Rice has been an important component in Thai cuisine for nearly 5000 years and it's served with nearly every meal. The two primary types of rice used in Thai cooking, are a long-grain rice called Jasmine rice and a short-grained rice called sticky rice or sweet rice.

While dried red chiles are a critical component in Thai cuisine, Thai cooks also make extensive use of fresh green and yellow chiles, to form a "holy trinity" of sorts similar to the Cajun “holy trinity” of bell peppers, onions and celery and Mexican Moles' “holy trinity” of ancho, pasilla and mulato chiles.

Each Thai dish will typically feature one of these chiles although they can be substituted for each other in a pinch. Proper presentation is a crucial component of authentic Thai cuisine and the three chile colors are carefully selected to heighten the visual appeal of their dishes in addition to adding sought after spicy flavor. Both dried and fresh chile peppers are used and are often used whole.

In Thai cuisine dried Thai chiles are added to broths, coconut soups, authentic Thai curry, noodle dishes, salads (only use a few), sauces and stir fries. We used Thai chiles in our recipe for Thai Basil Chicken Soup.

For a real treat mix with salt and sugar to create a condiment that complements just about any fresh fruit. Make ahead of time to allow the flavor of the chiles to marry with the salt and sugar and then remove the chiles before adding to the fruit.

Lightly roast Thai chiles with fish sauce, garlic and sugar, then toss with cooked shrimp and top with fresh Thai basil. In a blender mix Thai chiles with shredded coconut, curry leaves, garlic and ginger and use the resulting paste on sweet potatoes. Blend together Thai chiles with fish sauce, lime juice and sugar for a light marinade for chicken or fish.

To rehydrate your Thai Chiles , rinse them off with warm water and then soak in hot water for 10 minutes. Once rehydrated, dice or puree and add to a recipe.

Thai Bird Chiles pair well with bell peppers, eggplant, coconut milk, garlic, lime juice, onions, peanuts, potatoes, shallots, yuzu, herbs such as cilantro, mint, and Thai basil, and meats such as beef, chicken, fish, and pork.

What can I substitute for Thai bird chiles?

A good substitute for Thai Bird Chiles is either Malagueta Chiles (120,000 – 160,000 SHU) with similar heat levels not quite as sweet or Red Serrano Chiles (8,000 – 18,000 SHU) which is not as hot and has a smokier flavor.


Ingredients Thai Bird Chiles
Also Called Bird chiles, Thai chiles, or Thai chili peppers
Recommended Uses Add to broths, coconut soups, authentic Thai curry, noodle dishes, salads (only use a few), sauces and stir fries
Flavor Profile A slight fruity taste with a strong spiciness
Scoville Heat Units 70,000 - 130,000 SHU
Botanical Name Capsicum annuum
Cuisine Thai and Chinese
How To Store Airtight container in a cool, dark place
Shelf Life 1-2 Years
Country of Origin Thailand
Dietary Preferences Gluten Free, Kosher, Non-GMO


Hungry for More Information

Thai Spices and Seasoning Blends
What is Curry
How Well do You know Your Chiles
Exotic Spices


Nutrition Facts

Serving Size1 chile, 0.5g

Amount Per Serving


% Daily Value*

Total Fat0g0%

Saturated Fat0g0%

Trans Fat0g

Polyunsaturated Fat0g

Monounsaturated Fat0g



Total Carbohydrate0.4g0%

Dietary Fiber0.1g1%

Total Sugars0.2g

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
10 total ratings.

MaryBeth A. (Verified buyer) 04/19/2022
Awesome product Perfect for making General Tso's chicken! Love this product and this company!

Anthony C. (Verified buyer) 08/04/2021
Very hot and adds sizzle Very hot and adds sizzle to any dish - put it into one of my spice blends for popcorn and my wife loves it

jeff w. (Verified buyer) 05/29/2021
Hot Stuff Peppers can add a nice heat to any dish. Be careful, a little goes a long way!!! I like using them in a stir fry.

William G. (Verified buyer) 03/29/2020
Magnificent pods! I am a chilehead. I collect dried pods of all different varieties. These Thai Bird Chiles are a fine value with good flavor and ample heat.

Joan T. (Verified buyer) 04/22/2019
all your spices are fantastic! all your spices are fantastic! So glad I found you!

MARY M. (Verified buyer) 09/06/2018
Good size Use them in Tom Ga Guy chicken soup) love them!!!

Christian (Verified buyer) 11/12/2014
Thai Bird Chiles Being plenty pliable. All looked very uniform and appealing, and tasted exactly as expected: slightly fruity with a lot of spiciness.

Kevin B. (Verified buyer) 03/21/2022
Order was shipped and received Order was shipped and received faster than I expected. Will be a repeat customer.

Pete K. (Verified buyer) 06/15/2021
Thai bird chiles Using these for pickles I am canning, right size and right amount of heat , but many of the dried chiles are open and seeds have fallen out in the package making it difficult to add consistent heat to the jars as some pods are closed with seeds and others no seeds .

Dawn 02/06/2019
Great Customer Service I ordered the Bird chilies along with several other items that are hard to find consistently in Denver, Colorado. I received them all—well packaged and all correct—along with a lovely handwritten note thanking me for my first order. As someone who literally orders practically everything online ... this was such a nice touch. It so rarely happens. Thank you to Jonna for taking the time to welcome a new customer and pretty much sealed the deal on making me a repeat customer.