Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Friday Food 129 – Mi Jiao

Friday Food is an occasional article about one of the more unusual food items to be found in Liuzhou that week. This time I am lost.

mi jiao and darwin

These things on the right are a type of chilli pepper. (The thing on the left is a book.) The peppers are small – about the size of a gooseberry or a large grape and hot. They also have a citrus-y flavour Their colour ranges from pale yellow through green to to orange and red or even purple, although most are at the pale yellow end of things.

mi jiao 1

In Chinese, they are known as 米椒, but this doesn’t help much. 米 is one of the main characters for rice and 椒 means pepper. So we could call it ‘rice pepper’, but it seems no one does. Unfortunately, 米 can also mean ‘grain’ or seedling’. I’ve seen ‘米椒’ translated as ‘millet chilli’. But I’ve never found an English name I can relate to.

I’ve consulted experts and idiots. Even idiotic experts. And expert idiots. But not a drop of light has been thrown. No one seems to know what these things are. I have unilaterally decided to name them Capsicum Liuzhouii

mi jiao 2

It seems they are most often used in braises and stews where they contribute their heat and flavour, but are ultimately discarded. I’ve also seen them pickled – 泡米椒.

These chillies are widely available when in season – both in the supermarkets and markets. The lot beside the book cost me ¥2.

. This entry was posted on Friday, June 20th, 2014 at 7:00 am and is filed under Food and Drink, Friday Food. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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