Sili: Bird’s Eye Chili


I generally don’t like spicy food save for a few dishes that are meant to be spicy.  Which makes it hard to buy chili in the supermarket.  These are usually sold by a hundred grams at least and that’s a lot of chili especially if I only need 1 for a dish.  This makes a great reason to grow my own Sili plant, plus the leaves would be great for Tinola.

Siling Labuyo is the spicier of the 2 varieties found in the Philippines, the other being Siling Haba.  It is usually referred to as the Bird’s Eye Chili in English but I’ve read somewhere that they aren’t exactly one and the same kind.

I asked my mom for a couple of pieces of siling Labuyo.


In any case, the one I got from mom came from the grocery, which means this is likely imported from Taiwan, of the Bird’s Eye Chili variety and not the true native Siling Labuyo.  Nevertheless, I’m not picky.  Will plant whatever is available.


The seeds of the red sili were fresh. So many of them!

The green sili seeds were smaller, slightly browned at the tips and a lot less in quantity.  The seeds had browned more by the following day.


First, a word of warning.  When handling sili, do not touch your eyes or any part of your face. I washed my hands twice, took a shower and I thought that was sufficient.  But when i put on my contact lenses, whoa! My eyes stung like it was on fire.  Ok, maybe not on fire, but it stung.

I planted all the seeds. About 15 from the green one and over 50 from the red one.

None of the seeds from the green chili sprouted.  But almost all from the red one did.  I’ve given away about 25 seedling and 20 remain with me.

20 days from planting.

The seedlings look good despite the lack of sunshine this past week.  I  will have to repot them soon to avoid overcrowding.



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