Duo Jiao, or Chinese salted chopped chilies (also sometimes referred to as “pickled chilies”) is generally an unfamiliar ingredient in the West. However, it adds delicious flavor to dishes like our Hunan-Style Whole Fish and our Salted Chili Chinese Chive Frittata. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about duo jiao and how it’s used.
What Is Duo Jiao?
Duo Jiao (剁椒) literally translates to chopped (duo) chili peppers (jiao). Originating in Hunan Province, where hot and spicy flavors dominate, duo jiao is made by chopping red chilies and pickling them in a brine solution.
It has a salty and slightly pickled/tangy taste, and when it comes to spice level, its’ relatively mild (though this varies by brand), which is why you’ll see these chilies packed onto dishes by the spoonful!
When we traveled to Hunan, we saw many street vendors with big cutting boards, wooden bowls, and buckets, chopping red chilis and putting them into jars for sale.
Uses for This Ingredient
In China, you’ll find duo jiao in a famous Hunan dish, Steamed Fish Head. It tastes a lot better than it sounds!
We have a version of this dish that uses filets, our Hunan Steamed Fish––a highly underrated recipe, by the way! It may look intimidating with all of those bright red peppers on top.
They’re not as spicy as you’d think, but they are very flavorful!
We even have a vegan version, using steamed tofu and oyster mushrooms, which is just as delicious.
You can also add these salted chilies to stir-fries and egg dishes, like our Salted Chili Chinese Chive Frittata.
Buying & Storing
In China, we used the TanTan Xiang brand, as shown in our Duo Jiao Fish recipe.
You may also be able to find it in your local Asian grocery store, as we’ve found it here in the U.S. as well. Try whatever brands are available in your market.
Unlike chili sauces and pastes, duo jiao still has individual pieces of chopped chili visible. The chilies’ original color remains––a bright red. Don’t confuse it with pickled chili sauces with fermented black bean, which are meant to be used in moderation as a condiment, and can be wickedly spicy!
Store in its sealed container in the refrigerator. Always use a clean utensil when spooning it out or handling it to prevent contamination of the jar. It will keep in the fridge for several months.
Our Favorite Recipes That Use This Ingredient
- Salted Chili & Chinese Chive Frittata
- Hunan Steamed Fish with Salted Chilies
- Spicy Hunan Steamed Tofu & Mushrooms
- Hunan-Style Whole Fish
If you have further questions, let us know in the comments!