Piquí­n Chile

Don’t let their size fool you. These chiles pack a punch of flavor and more importantly, they have been spicing up Mexico’s taste buds for a long time in many ways.

Different varieties of Piquí­n grow in bushes that have small and pointy leaves. The chiles are adorably cute! They are tiny and grow to be only 1 to 2 centimeters long, round and a bit elongated. When fresh, they start green and as they mature their color turns to a deep red that moves towards brown as they dry, which is how they are mostly consumed. Piquí­n chiles have a deep flavor with hints of citrus and smoke. They are a bit spicy but incredibly pleasant.

Chile Piquin goes by different names such as tepí­n, chiltepí­n, chilito, Chiapas (yes, like the state located in south east Mexico), diente de tlacuache (opposum’s tooth), mosquito, pajarito (little bird), enano (dwarf), pulga (flea), amash, and chilpaya amongst others…

It’s most common to find Piquí­n already dried and ground in stores, and that way it can be sprinkled on top of almost everything! In fact, I bet you that any Mexican you may know has eaten Piquí­n sprinkled on something, if not regularly on many things, from pozoles to soups to salads to sweets to covering the rims of tasty drinks. It is also ever present in street food stands that sell fresh fruits, veggies and crazy corn, where these ingredients are drizzled with lime juice, sprinkled with salt and the ground chile.


8comments inPiquí­n Chile

  1. Rosie Wolf

    Oct 20

    Hola Pati!
    Where can I buy a chiltepin masher like yours? I saw it on S8, E10 – Surfside Eats. Thank you

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 22

      Hi Rosie! I bought it in a street market in Mexico but now you can find it on Amazon, look it up as Chiltepin Chile Grinder 😉

  2. Robin the Shipwreck

    Jan 29

    These are “my” secret ingredient to add some spicy, as I call it, “Ting-Tang” to many of the salsas and dishes, that Pati has enlightened me to try, when I cook for friends and family. Two or three per batch brings an added layer to any dish…

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 08

      Glad to know you are using the Piquin a lot Robin! It is actually a pretty versatile chile.

  3. Sandra

    Mar 05


    Do you know how to make a chile with piquin, garlic, sesame seeds and raw peanuts and some oil but not sure what kind. It is almost like a rub.


    1. Pati

      Mar 05

      Hi Sandra,
      I think you may be talking about Salsa Macha, which can also be made with Chile Piquín? http://patijinich.com/pati_2020/2013/11/salsa-macha/

  4. Sarita Szjowitz

    Apr 09

    Pati quisiera saber si usted sigue teniendo su programa en la tele
    pus ultimamente no lo hemos poder ver y la verdad como usted de
    sheff no hay otra que se lleve el primer premio.si nos puede desir donde podemos ver su programa se lo vamos a agradeser.
    Cinceramente.Sarita Zajowitz

    1. Pati

      Apr 09

      Gracias Sarita!! Por favor contacte a su estación de tele pública, o donde halla visto el programa y pregúnteles por su programación. Tal vez estpan en pausa antes de pasarlo otra vez: estaremos en prioducción de la siguiente temporada pronto!

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