De Arbol (Capsicum Annuum) means tree like in Spanish. The plant has thick, upright, woody stems and the chile itself is narrow, curved and bright red in color. Believed to be closely related to the pequin, the De Arbol is thin fleshed, with tannic, smoky, grassy flavor and searing heat. This chile has a heat range of 7.5 on the heat scale of 1-10. De Arbol Chiles are comparable to a Cayenne Pepper. Scoville heat units 15,000 to 30,000.
De Arbol is a hot chile and a staple in Southwest kitchens. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish. Be adventurous and add them to your next stew or chili along with the other spices. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish.
2 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
5 to 8 dried arbol chiles, stemmed
2 lemongrass stalks
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb boned, skinned chicken thighs, cubed
1 tsp shrimp paste
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
1 qt reduced sodium chicken broth
2 tsp sugar
3 tsp kosher salt
1 cinnamon stick
6 oz mung bean sprouts, rinsed
8 oz wide rice noodles
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, torn
Sambal oelek chili paste
Grind coriander, peppercorns, cumin, fennel, cloves, turmeric, and chiles coarsely in a spice grinder. Peel tough outer layers from lemongrass, then mash core with a meat mallet or small, heavy frying pan.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chicken, shrimp paste, shallots, and reserved spices and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 2 minutes.
Pour in coconut milk, broth, sugar, and salt. Add cinnamon and lemongrass. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, 20 minutes.
Boil bean sprouts in a large pot of boiling water until softened, 2 minutes. Transfer sprouts to a bowl. Add noodles to pot and cook until firm, 4 minutes. Drain and rinse well.
Divide sprouts and noodles among 6 bowls. Ladle in soup (remove cinnamon and lemongrass) and top with mint and cilantro. Serve with limes and sambal.