Field Notes

Rehydrating Dried Chilies

When it comes to fresh chilies, options are limited unless you’re willing to grow them yourself. Supermarkets limit their inventory to the most ubiquitous varieites: bell peppers, jalapeño, habanero, plus maybe a Cubanelle or poblano if you’re lucky.

So when recipes call for specific chilies that fall outside of this small box, chances are you’ll purchase them in dried form and will need to rehydrate them before using. This requires no special equipment; just a bowl and some boiling water.

 To rehydrate your chilies, place them in a heatproof bowl. Bring some water to boil, enough to completely submerge the chilies, then pour it into the bowl. We use a plate to weigh the chilies down and completely cover them in water. Let the chilies sit in the hot water for 10 to 15 minutes, until softened.