Thai Dragon Chili Peppers

The Thai Dragon chili peppers are easy to grow and a fan favorite among those that love Asian cuisine. Since the plants grow fairly compact, only reaching 24″ tall, they are perfect for patio gardens. It’s entirely possible to grow two or more plants in a 5-gallon pot or bucket.

How Hot Are Thai Dragon Chili Peppers?

Be warned, these little chilis pack a fair amount of heat with a Scoville level around 100,000 SHU, hotter than Tabasco or Cayenne peppers. The size of the chilis averages about 2″ long but can reach up to 4″ in length.

The peppers start out green and mature to red. Harvest the chilis at any color stage but for the best flavor they are best harvested when red. One bonus with the Thai Dragon chili peppers is that, once red, they can be left on the plant with getting over ripe. This is ideal if you plan to make a hot sauce or pepper mash that requires a large amount of chilis to be harvested at one time.

Uses For Thai Dragon Chilis

These fiery little peppers can be used fresh, ground into powder, or dried whole for storage. However, our favorite use for the Thai Dragon pepper is making homemade Sambal (Garlic Chili Paste). If you’ve never made Sambal, it’s quite simple. Just get out your food processor and add about 20-25 Thai Dragon chilis (no need to remove seeds), 10 cloves of garlic, and a 1/2 tsp of salt. Pulse the processor until you have a paste like consistency, a little finer than salsa. The salt will result in moisture being pulled from the peppers so take your time and pause after a few pulses and allow the salt to work. You can store the chili paste in the refrigerator for several months. Additionally, you could ferment the peppers before making the chili paste for an additional depth of flavor.

Chili Pepper Madness also has a good recipe for Sambal Oelek.

Similar heat and flavor can also be found in Bird’s Eye peppers. If you’re looking for an Asian, Thai type, pepper with less heat be sure and check out our Gong Bao pepper seeds.

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