An Eye on the Thai Bird’s Eye Chile | McCormick Flavor Solutions
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Postcards from the Bench

An Eye on the Thai Bird’s Eye Chile

April 2022 | Brian, Associate Scientist- PD

A fully red and ripened Thai bird chile delivers a sharp, snappy, biting heat that’s popular in Thai cuisine. When I think of this chile, Thai dipping sauce comes to mind, where the heat lends itself to the characteristic balance of savory, salty, citrusy flavors in dipping sauces that accompany so many grilled protein dishes, egg rolls, and more.

With heat rising in popularity just about everywhere – from the grocery store aisles to restaurant tables and home kitchens, I was excited to be tasked with creating a seasoning that balances both full flavor and heat. Bird’s eye chile is the perfect pepper for this in my mind because it has that biting heat consumers are craving, but it builds more slowly than the heat of other hot peppers.

Using McCormick Flavor Technology including FlavorCap Basil, FlavorCap Capsicum and FlavorCap Cilantro I was able to create a profile that offers a mild sensation of heat built into an upfront aroma of soy, citrus, ginger, and pepper. This initial complexity keeps the taster intrigued for what’s next - a savory, lingering heat with spice notes, followed by a fruity finish showcasing the Thai chile in each subsequent bite. Thai food is all about the balance of flavors, so I really played into that theme as we worked through the process.

I applied this seasoning to sweet root veggie chips to ground the heat, but it’s perfect for a variety of snack bases – from snack nuts to coconut chips to meat and more. Apply it anywhere you’re looking to bring a complex symphony of flavors that picks up speed as it goes, whipping your senses back and forth the entire length of the experience. 

Looking to bring a spicy Thai flavor profile to your applications? Get in touch with McCormick today.