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Green Japanese Bell Peppers
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Japanese Green bell peppers are much smaller, roughly one third the size of the type marketed in America. The pepper is much less plump and is more narrowly shaped. The skin of a Japanese Green bell pepper is thinner, requiring a shorter cooking time. Within the pod, there are multiple dark brown seeds. Japanese Green bell peppers are sweet with a slightly bitter after taste.
Japanese Green bell peppers are available in the fall.
Japanese Green bell peppers are known locally in Japan as “piman” and look quite similar to their larger, more common cousins. They are picked unripe to maintain their green color. The small sweet pepper variety of Capsicum annuum has found its way to the US and is being marketed in limited areas.
In Japan, the small bell pepper or piman is used mostly in deep-fried and grilled preparations. They are most often dipped in tempura and fried. These mini bell peppers can also be used much as their larger American counterparts; roast cleaned peppers and stuff them for hors d’oeuvres. When raw, they can be sliced and diced for salads, additions to slaws and as toppings on pizza.
Mainly grown in the Miyazaki prefecture, Japanese Green bell peppers were introduced to the island country in the nineteenth century. The popularity of bell peppers increased following World War II after an influx of American products. Japanese Green bell peppers are harvested while still unripe, before any color change occurs. Larger bell peppers are referred to as “jumbo piiman” in Japan and the more colorful varieties are called karaa piiman. The word piman comes from the French word ‘pimant’. Capsicum annuum is native to North and South America and was introduced around the world after Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World.
Recipes that include Green Japanese Bell Peppers. One is easiest, three is harder.