If you’ve ever dined in any pizza parlor or casual Italian eatery You’ll find a bottle of crushed red pepper flakes on the table alongside the salt and pepper. The “pizza pepper” may come to mind when you hear the words “crushed red pepper “ or red chili flakes” But the Sichuan chili flakes in our spice collection are a whole different ball game. Many of our favorite dishes would be incomplete without them.
Let's get a better understanding of what this ingredient is and how to use it.
WHAT ARE SICHUAN CHILI FLAKES?
To know where it comes from, Sichuan cuisine (also known as Szechwan cuisine or Szechuan cuisine) is a type of Chinese cuisine that originated in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan. Its unwaveringly bold, spicy, pungent flavors are achieved primarily through spices, aromatics such as garlic, and liberal use of Sichuan chili peppers.
Sichuan chili flakes or Szechuan chili flake, also known as làjiāo fēn (辣椒粉), are made from fiery red chili peppers, frying the whole chilies in vegetable oil until crisp before grinding into flakes.
A chili pepper's seeds are a main source of heat, so make no mistake: this spice is potent. A dash or two of chili peppers is a quick way to increase the spiciness in a recipe. Sichuan chili flakes, on the other hand, are milder than regular Italian crushed red pepper. They're also brighter red and smell better.
Having said that, even among Sichuan chili flakes, there is some variation. Some chili flakes will be less roasted and dry ground. Others will have a higher moisture content and will be fried in oil before grinding. Either one will work perfectly for all recipes; just keep oil temperatures in mind when using them.
HOW TO USE THEM
Sichuan chili flakes are essential to chili oil and make an excellent seasoning on their own. We occasionally use both chili oil and Sichuan chili flakes to spice up dishes like Lanzhou Beef Noodle Soup.
They are essential in the production of chili sauce as well as the production of chili oil. With plenty of garlic, soy sauce, and sugar to balance out the heat, it can elevate any dish to new heights.
BUYING & STORINGSichuan red chili flakes can be found in Chinese grocery stores. They are also available online from Asian grocery stores such as Soeos. The Soeos, in particular, obtain their spices directly from the farm.
When opening a new package, place it in an airtight container for long-term storage. They will last for two to three years if properly stored in a cool, dry place (such as your pantry).