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Red Naga peppers are small, grooved pods, averaging 5 to 7 centimeters in length, and have a conical, curved to straight shape that tapers to a distinct point on the non-stem end. The pods will widely vary in shape, size, and spice, depending on the soil and climate the pepper is grown in. The skin is waxy and semi-rough, covered in deep furrows and wrinkles, giving it a crinkled, bumpy appearance, and ripens from green to bright red when mature. Underneath the thin skin, the flesh is crisp and pale red, encasing a central cavity filled with very spicy membranes and round, flat, cream-colored seeds. Red Naga peppers are initially sweet, fruity, and smoky, followed by a scorching heat that builds in intensity and lingers on the palate.
Red Naga chili peppers should be used with extreme caution as the intense spice may be too overpowering and can render a dish inedible. It is recommended to be used sparingly, and gloves and goggles should be worn when handling and slicing the pepper. Red ghost chile peppers are best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as stir-frying and sauteing. When fresh, Red ghost chile peppers can be pureed into sauces, relishes, and marinades, chopped into salsa, or dried, ground into a powder, and used as a spice or rub on grilled meats. The peppers can also be charred and blended with herbs and aromatics to make a smoky hot sauce, cooked into jelly, diced and mixed into curries, stews, and chilis, or served in fish-based dishes.
Fresh peppers will keep 1-2 weeks when loosely wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator.