Pickled Er Jing Tiao Chilies (Sichuan Pickled Chilies, Pao La Jiao)
This is it! Perhaps the most elusive Sichuan ingredient: pickled er jing tiao chilies, or pao la jiao, made in Chengdu.
Use the pickled form of Sichuan's favorite chili in place of chili bean paste in yu xiang dishes (pork, eggplant, etc) as is often done in Sichuan, or in dishes like fish stew with pickled cabbage and chilies or pickled-pepper beef noodles or as a sauce ingredient for cold dishes. Anywhere you'd like a little pickled pepper punch! Or any time a recipe suggests using sambal oelek or, unwisely, sriracha in a traditional Sichuan dish. (Here's our family-favorite use.)
There are several reasons why we haven't imported this product despite many customer requests, with the main one being that the pickled peppers don't have a long shelf-life and often are past their prime when they arrive in the U.S. But we got these from another importer who just brought in a very fresh batch.
Like all traditional Sichuan pao cai, or pickled vegetables, these chilies are naturally fermented and soured without the addition of vinegar. Food regulators—both China's and the FDA—require low-acid foods such as these to be acidified and/or preserved for safety. So these chilies have both acids and preservatives. (Alternatively, you can naturally ferment our dried er jing tiao as a pretty fine alternative.)
This is a relatively small bag. The second photo shows the contents of one bag. Remove the stems and chop into pieces or mince. For fewer seeds, run your knife along the length of the chili to squeeze them out before mincing.
Once open, transfer to an air-tight container and store in refrigerator.
Producer: Chengdu Yingyu Food Co.
Size: 7.76 ounces (220 grams)
Ingredients: water, er jing tiao chili, salt, glacial acetic acid, citric acid, disodium EDTA, sodium D-isoascorbate, sodium dehydroacetate, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, nisin, sodium metabisulfite