Go to nearly any pizza parlor or informal Italian eatery in the USA. You’ll discover a jar of crushed crimson pepper flakes on the desk alongside the salt and pepper. This “pizza pepper” might come to thoughts while you hear the phrase “crimson chili flakes” or “crushed crimson pepper.” However the Sichuan chili flakes in our spice cupboard are a complete completely different ball sport. A lot of our favourite recipes merely wouldn’t be the identical with out them.
Let’s discuss extra about what this ingredient is, and how you can use it.
What Are Sichuan Chili Flakes?
Chinese language Sichuan chili flakes, or làjiāo fēn (辣椒芬), begin out as spicy crimson chili peppers. Varieties embody small “Going through Heaven” peppers (named for the way they develop pointed skyward) or the marginally milder er jin tiao peppers widespread in Sichuan Province.
After frying the chilies till crisp, they then get crushed right into a flaky seasoning, seeds and all.
The seeds of a chili pepper are a fundamental supply of its warmth, so make no mistake: this spice can pack a punch. Including a splash or two is a fast technique to crank up the warmth of a recipe.
Nonetheless, Sichuan chili flakes do are usually a bit milder than normal Italian crushed crimson pepper. They’re additionally extra vividly crimson and fragrant. (Assume: the nuttiness of popcorn.) That is key for a few of their most typical purposes.
How To Use Them
Whereas they make a fantastic seasoning on their very own, Sichuan chili flakes are additionally important to Chili Oil. We’ve no disgrace in how a lot we use these things! We generally use each chili oil and Sichuan chili flakes to boost recipes like our Lanzhou Beef Noodle Soup.
Along with making chili oil, they’re additionally crucial to Chiu Chow Chili Sauce. With loads of garlic, soy sauce, and sugar to stability out the warmth, it will possibly flip any dish into one thing extraordinary.
Naturally, crimson chili flakes additionally present up in numerous basic Sichuan dishes. Some examples embody Suan Ni Bai Rou (sliced pork with garlic sauce) and Sichuan Boiled Beef, which is extremely scrumptious regardless of its ho-hum identify.
Our recipe for Kou Shui Ji (actually “saliva rooster” due to how mouth-wateringly scrumptious it’s) isn’t fairly as spicy because the model you’d discover in Sichuan Province. Nevertheless it nonetheless serves up that particular ma la (spicy-numbing) taste profile due to the mix of chili and Sichuan peppercorns.
Crimson chili flakes, floor Sichuan peppercorns, and cumin additionally kind the trifecta of Xinjiang spices. These flavors are excellent for all the pieces from Spicy Fried Chicken Wings to Cumin Lamb Burgers and our nice vegan/vegetarian different, Cumin Potatoes.
Shopping for & Storing
If you open a recent package deal, switch them to an hermetic container for long-term storage.
When correctly saved in a cool, dry place (like your pantry), they are going to final for 2 to a few years.
Substitutions for Sichuan Chili Flakes
Italian crushed crimson pepper can be utilized in a pinch. Nonetheless, we’ve discovered the chilies used for “pizza pepper” are normally roasted longer earlier than crushing.
Because of this, Italian crushed crimson pepper doesn’t provide the colourful crimson hue attribute of the Sichuan model. Cooking them in oil may also end in a barely burnt style.
That’s why we positively recommend sourcing them on-line for those who can!
Our Favourite Recipes That Use This Ingredient
Homemade Chili Oil
Homemade Chiu Chow Chili Sauce
Sichuan Boiled Beef (水煮牛肉 – Shuizhu Niurou)
Spicy Fried Chicken Wings
Lanzhou Beef Noodle Soup
Sichuan Chicken In Chili Oil Sauce (Kou Shui Ji)