January 25, 2011

siling labuyo

The siling kulikot in the Carbon Public Market of Cebu City
siling labuyo - (si-ling la-bu-yò; Tagalog spicy condiment/seasoning) [n.] Philippine bird’s eye chili (sc.name: Capsicum frutescens, [Linn.]).

a.k.a. siling bundok or siling palay in Tagalog
siling kulikot in Cebuano
sili katumbal in Ilonggo
pasete or pasiti in Batang
mimis or siling diablo in Ilocano
sili napet in Itawis
katumba or lara in Tausug
luya tiduk in Maranao

A species of wild native hot small chili pepper or tiny hot chili that grows in the forested areas of the country, though it can be grown also in the garden, backyard, or pots.

The  Ta'u-sug katumba  or lara sold in the Public Market of Zamboanga City

This species of Philippine tiny wild chili pepper is also known as the “bird’s eye hot pepper” known to grow only in the Philippine archipelago. So called siling labuyo because it is picked by wandering wild chickens called labuyo by the Tagalogs. The siling labuyo plant bears tiny fruits refuted to be one of the hottest peppers in the world.
The kind of siling kulikot sold in the Carbon Public Market of Cebu City. This is the same as the original Tagalog siling labuyo.

Authentic siling labuyo is very small, very short (less than an inch) with a not-so-pointed tip.  

Some imported and less spicy hot chilies are passed on as siling labuyo in the market or grocery stores when in fact it is not a siling labuyo like the siling Taiwan that is more than an inch long and very pointed.

The mimis of Ilocos Sur province

This tiny chili is known for its intense piquancy - so small in size, yet so hot in taste. 

Despite its irritating piquancy, chickens and birds are picking the ripe mimis in the wilds, as if it is their favorite. 

The mimis of Ilocos Sur province

Ilocanos would use mimis as flavor in making spicy hot sukang Iloko (sugarcane vinegar). They also used it as condiment in some dishes and dippings

Some bottles of sukang Iloko in Binalonan, Pangasinan are steeped with mimis.
Siling Taiwan being sold in the public market of Cabanatuan City. It is commonly found also in public markets and groceries in Metro Manila, often passed on as siling labuyo, when in fact it is not a siling labuyo.
Siling Taiwan being sold in the Alabang public market of Muntinlupa City. Keep in mind that siling Taiwan is not siling labuyo.

For more about Pinoy foods, see also my OPEN & FREE food dictionary.

With valuable information, etymology, history, nutrition, how to cook it, culinary tips, how it is called in other dialects, and more...


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