Sichuan chili flakes aren’t just any ordinary spice – they’re a staple in Chinese cuisine that can transform any dish with a burst of heat and flavor. From stir-fries to marinades, learn how to incorporate Sichuan chili flakes into your cooking repertoire.
Let’s dig deeper into the nature of this component and how it can be utilized.
What’s a Sichuan Chili Flake?
Làjio fn, or Chinese Sichuan chili flakes, begin as fiery red chili peppers. There are many types of peppers, including the tiny “Facing Heaven” peppers (so-called because they grow with their pointed tips pointing upward) and the popular but milder peppers of Sichuan Province.
Remember this seasoning; the heat comes primarily from the chili pepper’s seeds. Increasing the spice level of a dish only requires a dash or two of this ingredients.
On the other hand, Sichuan chili flakes are typically tamer than the crushed red pepper typically used in Italian cooking. They have a deeper red color and a stronger fragrance. Popcorn’s nutty flavor comes to mind. That’s why it’s so important for many of their typical uses.
Even Sichuan chili flakes have their unique flavor. The roasting process sometimes reaches a different intensity in every batch of chili flakes. Other options will have a higher moisture content because they will be fried in oil before ground. All our recipes can be made with either; be careful with the oil temperatures.
The coarseness, roast level (the bag on the right has been exposed to heat longer), and moisture content of these chili flakes are all different (the middle bag is less dry).
How do I use them?
Sichuan chili flakes are an integral part of Chili Oil and make great seasoning. Using this stuff so frequently is nothing to be ashamed of for us. Some of our spicier dishes, like our Lanzhou Beef Noodle Soup, benefit from adding chili oil and Sichuan chili flakes.
They are not only essential for the production of chili oil but also play a major role in the creation of Chiu Chow Chili Sauce. Sprinkling on some garlic, soy sauce, and a bit of sugar to cut the heat is all it takes to elevate even the most ordinary dish to the next level.
Red chili flakes are a staple ingredient in many traditional Sichuan dishes. Suan Ni Bai Rou (sliced pork with garlic sauce) and Sichuan Boiled Beef (quite tasty despite its unimaginative name) are two dishes.
Kou Shui Ji, also known as “saliva chicken” due to its mouth-watering deliciousness, is a specialty dish from Sichuan Province. Our version is less spicy than the version you’d find in Sichuan Province. The combination of chili and Sichuan peppercorns still provides that signature ma la (spicy-numbing) flavor profile.
Three main spices make up Xinjiang cuisine: red chili flakes, ground Sichuan peppercorns, and cumin. Our great vegan/vegetarian alternative, Cumin Potatoes, is just one dish that would benefit from these flavors.
Purchasing and Storing
Sichuan red chili flakes are available in Chinese supermarkets. Sayweee.com and The Mala Market are two examples of Asian grocery stores selling them online. In particular, Sichuan Chili Flakes sold at Mala Market come from family-run factories in China.
Store them in an airtight container once you’ve opened a new package.
They have two to three years of shelf life if kept in a cool, dry place (like a pantry).
Over the years, we have also received inquiries about growing and drying your chilies. Although we have yet to get around to it, we hope to share comprehensive instructions for growing your garden at home one day.
Alternatives For Sichuan Chili Flakes
In a nutshell, you can’t find anything that compares to Sichuan pepper flakes. But if you’re in a real bind, think about these alternatives:
In a pinch, you can use Italian crushed red pepper. Pizza pepper chilies, on the other hand, are typically roasted for a longer period before being crushed. Therefore, Italian crushed red pepper lacks its Sichuan counterpart’s deep red color and robust flavor. However, frying them can also leave them tasting slightly burnt.
Despite popular belief, Korean chili flakes and powder are completely flavorless. Not even close to the Chinese version (but still a nice chili oil if you use them).
Consequently, you are strongly advised to acquire your Sichuan chili flakes via the internet. There has been a dramatic increase in their availability in the last few years, at least in the United States.