Does anyone eat pepper leaves?

californianJuly 19, 2007

I am told they are edible. If so how do you prepare them?

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A neighbor just answered my question. You boil the leaves and they taste something like spinach, only better.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 3:00PM
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reyna1(Zone 8)

my wife has a recipe for a chicken soup called "tinola" that she uses chile pepper leaves, it comes out really good.

here's a link to a recipe thats somewhat similar except we dont use the papaya

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 2:04AM
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groovy1(New Jersey)

Hey, guys, I wouldn't eat pepper leaves. Peppers are from the nightshade family. Their leaves are poisonous.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 1:58PM
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If anyone has a good link to some info on the culinary uses of pepper leaves I would love to see it. I've done some searching but the most I could find is single recipes and no treatment of the subject as a whole.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 5:49PM
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groovy1(New Jersey)

I wonder why that would be?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 11:29PM
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my mom used to make soup with the leaves. it was yummy. i'm still alive and its been over 10 years since i've eaten it. Maybe it depends what kind of pepper?! she used jalapeno leaves.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 8:29AM
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Plants with edible leaves.

Wikipedia has Capsicum annuum and Capsicum frutescens as having edible leaves.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 1:50PM
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One time I was out in the garden eating some basil, when I accidently ate a pepper leaf. It was kind of spicy and I knew that it wasn't a basil leaf, but it had been so small that I had eaten it all by the time I realized it. I looked to see what plant it came off of, and it was the Jalapeno plant

Well, I went inside and I started to feel strange. I got dizzy, and my face felt hot and prickly. I called the doctor and they told me to wait and see if it got worse. Luckily it didn't, and within a few hours I went back to normal. I'm sure it was because of that pepper leaf.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 1:25PM
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So any capiscum annuum or frutescens leaves are good for eating?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 10:29AM
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t-bob(west wa)

hey canuckistani
no, it did not say ANY annum. did you read the list or read the article? it made it very clear that some leaves on the list needed special preparations in order to being safe to eat by humans.
some need boiling, some drying, some fried, and other preparations not be careful what you eat is all i can say

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 10:46AM
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i've eaten pepper leaves before, i doubt they are poisonous, maybe depends on what kind of pepper/chile you are talking about? they taste really yum, my mum just make a soup with pork, and add some salt for flavour. pepper leaves ARE better than spinach, its got the texture of spinach but not the special taste of the spinach.good for people who dont like spinach.
pepper leaves are popular in China, i dont think you can eat raw pepper leaves, Chinese people cook them, so is that the pepperation you are talkin about?
here is a link in Chinese, see if you can translate it with translator on the toolbar, there are recipes, Chinese recipes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Info about pepper leaves

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 6:57PM
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roper2008 (7b)(7b)

reyna1 is your wife filipina? My filipino friends tell me they like
the pepper leaves. I'm going to have to try the tinola.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 10:29AM
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The wasted treasures of food

Here is a link that might be useful: The wasted treasures of food

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 8:43PM
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bunnyman(Thumb of MI)

My cats make a regular feast of my potted house peppers. No signs of ill affects... little monsters also pull off the habeneras to bat around as toys. Peppers seem to have an amazing ability to spring back from being pruned down to almost nothing. Plants I thought the cats had killed I'm munching peppers from today. The cats do prefer jalapeno!... they will nibble habenera... must have been stung by the red savina as they walk a wide path around that one.

My pets smell and hear better then I do so I take note when their senses detect something.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 10:33AM
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I just found this old post while doing a search because my cat ate my jalapeno leaves earlier today... wondering if that was common & how to keep her away from them.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 8:16PM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

A few years ago my neighbour had a Filipino nanny who came over to visit my garden. She admired my Hungarian Hot Wax pepper plants and told me they used the leaves in some of their dishes. It's probably an Asian tradition.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 3:28AM
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Avocado101(9A Southern California)

They are edible.
Copy and paste these words and google: ê³ ì¶"ìÂÂ무침

Press "translate this page button" on the results.

You might get better answers to how to prepare the leaves if you post the same question on Asian Vegetables sub section of this forum.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 1:15AM
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Avocado101(9A Southern California)

Hm... the word did not appear as previewed. I'm posting a link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to search results for Pepper Leaf dish - press translate afterwards

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 1:20AM
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ssimon2000(7 - Central Oklahoma)

My wife is Filipina, too, and along with harvesting the peppers, I harvest pepper leaves for her on a regular basis throughout the growing season. Usually used for tinola (great soup!), she stir-fries them, too, we have never suffered any ill effects. We have harvested leaves from jalapeno, habanero, thai, labuyo, and tabasco. All have different flavors, and a level of heat to them, too.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 2:04PM
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>>Hey, guys, I wouldn't eat pepper leaves. Peppers are from the nightshade family. Their leaves are poisonous.Umm, no. Not all Solanum species have poisonous leaves. Some are grown primarily for their leaves, especially in Africa.

Even the American nightshade has edible foliage...sometimes. It is also reported as having toxic leaves sometimes. Some authorities speculate that this has to do with cultivation conditions. Other think the leaves are non-toxic, and that reports of toxicity come from Solanum nigrum species, which are easily confused with Solanum americanum.

Pepper leaves were a staple in Precolumbian Aztec cuisine. They were both cooked as a spinach, and also used raw (usually chopped like parsley). See Sophie Coe's wonderful book "America's First Cuisines."

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 12:55PM
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PS. I'm not encouraging anyone to cook up a huge batch of pepper leaves and gorge on them, by the way. Any new food should be experimented with carefully. Even if a given plant isn't toxic, there are such things as food allergies.

Incidentally, the Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants lists peppers, except bell peppers, as "injurious"--but just the fruits and seeds. It turns out they are hot. Who knew?

This book delights in listing all the toxic parts of every plant, but it says nothing about any toxic principles in peppers, apart from the "injurious" fruit.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 1:11PM
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When in doubt, there is a procedure for telling if a plant is poisonous or not in a survival situation.

Unless you are trapped out in the wilderness unexpected, do not do this. You have the advantaged of 10,000 years of human experience, find out what a plant is and look it up before you decide to freaking eat it. The below is for when you are trapped with no way to look up or ask what a plant is.

Identifying a plant as safe to eat requires several days, as each step requires multiple hours if not a full day before it is safe to proceed to the next one. The basic idea is to slowly expose yourself to very small amounts and watch for reactions.

Step 1) Apply to Skin
Mash the plant part you are wanting to know about up, then rub it on your skin in a non-vital area, like the back of your arm. Wait several hours and watch for any signs of rash or reaction. If you see one, its poisonous, leave that plant alone.

Step 2) Small Taste
Essentially break open the part you want to eat and lick it. Don't chew, don't swallow, just lick it and wait several hours. Observe your reaction. Any swelling, heart racing, light headedness, or other general "I shouldn't feel like this" feeling, don't touch the plant anymore, its poisonous.

Step 3) Chew Some
Same as above, but chew a small portion up, then spit it out. Wait several hours, watch for symptoms as above. Again, if anything happens, its poisonous.

Step 4) Eat a tiny amount
I don't mean a handful, I mean like one leaf, half a berry, etc. Swallow it. Wait at least 12-24 hours. If you get an upset stomach, nausea, or any of the normal food poisoning symptoms you would expect after eating 3 day old room temperature Taco Bell, leave it alone, its poisonous.

Step 5) Eat it carefully
At this point, if you've done all of this (usually requires at least 2 days to get to this point) and have had nothing happen to you, you can be sure it isn't immediately toxic. Try eating a small amount, like a small handful of berries, a handful of leaves, etc. Again, wait 12-24 hours and watch for symptoms. If any show up, leave it alone, its poisonous.

Step 6) Should be okay
Assuming you haven't starved to death by this point, your mystery plant should at least not kill you if you eat it. Not saying it will be worth eating or that you would get any nutrients out of it, but it most likely won't kill you.

Step 7) Stop eating it as soon as possible
Some poisons can be fine in small doses and gradually build up until they kill you. You are fairly sure what you've got isn't lethal, but first chance you have, look it up and be 100% sure. Usually this means when you're rescued from the woods, don't go back out there just to keep harvesting mushrooms and berries, just eat whats in the grocery store.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 10:19PM
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Incidentally, even the leaves of eggplants are reported as edible by a number of sources, including the Department of Horticulture at the University of Florida:

Eggplant leaves are reported as "edible but not flavorful." I can easily believe that. In fact, they are one of the leat appetizing leaves in the garden.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 11:29AM
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In my back home in North Ossetia (Russia) we traditionally boil and preserve the hot pepper leaves with salt for winter. We eat them mixing with sour cream or kefir. They are simply delicious.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 11:53PM
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Incredible, learn something new everyday, I've always thought/ASSUMED pepper leaves to be as potato/tomato leaves because they belong to the solarium family. whowoodathunk?

I have wondered why deer can get away with munching them down to the ground though. Now I know, THEY'RE NOT POISONOUS.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 7:43AM
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Wow - I have a greenhouse full of pepper plants and never thought of eating the leaves...... I am growing sweet potatos in the GH, specifically for the leaves. They are quite mild and I suate them with onions. Now I'll be looking forward to trying some of the pepper leaves.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 10:48PM
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Well, after reading all this, I just prepared my scrambled eggs with six large leaves from my Trinidad Scorpion plant. It made it spicier, but not particularly hot. I also feel slightly but unmistakeably intoxicated. Still, I am supposing it might be psychosomatic. It has been almost twenty minutes since I ate the eggs.

I fried the chopped leaves for a bout a minute before whipping them into the raw eggs. I cooked the eggs thoroughly. I will update in one hour if I don't die or require hospitalization. I do not suspect either tragedy will come to pass.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 12:20PM
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mctiggs(2b (WPG, MB))

So... was it good?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 12:38PM
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Yeah, it was good enough that I look forward to incorporating it into other things. I have some friends who like everything in my Moroccan cooking except cilantro. This might be a good twist.

The thing is, I want to try to get another season out of my plants, so I don't wan't to decimate their leaf count. I just cut these because they were damaged and drawing energy from the new growth up top.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 2:12PM
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