The compound responsible for a chili's "fire" is called capsaicin. Although capsaicin is largely concentrated in the chili's ribs, or inner white membranes, some of the heat is transferred to the attached seeds and flesh as well. To remove most of the ribs and seeds from a fresh chili, using a small, sharp knife, slit the chili lengthwise, cut around the stem end and pull the stem away, removing the clinging seeds with it. Then, using the knife, scrape away any remaining seeds and ribs.
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