Cookbook:Chile Flakes

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Chile Flakes
CategoryHerbs and spices

Cookbook | Recipes | Ingredients | Herbs and Spices

Chile flakes—also known as chili flakes, red pepper flakes, or crushed red pepper[1]—are a spice derived from dried and crushed red chile peppers. It should not be confused with either chili powder or chile powder.

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

As the name implies, chile flakes are not fully ground, instead consisting of small chips or flakes. Some varieties, especially those labeled "crushed red pepper" or "red pepper flakes" may also contain the chile seeds along with the flakes.[2][3] Chile flakes can also be made from either a single chile variety or from a blend[2]—jalapeño, serrano, and cayenne are common varieties included in blends.[1][3] Gochugaru, Aleppo, and Sichuan are other specialty flake varieties.[1][4][5] The exact heat level and flavor profile will depend on the specific variety of chile used.[4]

Selection and storage[edit | edit source]

Like all dried spices, chile flakes should be kept in an airtight container away from light, heat, and moisture. The flavor will gradually diminish over time, so buy only as much as you will use in a few months. They should smell pungent.[1]

Use[edit | edit source]

Chile flakes have a variety of applications. One common use is as a topping for pizzas, pastas, and salads,[3] where they add both heat and aesthetically pleasing red speckles.[2][4]

Substitution[edit | edit source]

If you can't access ready-made chile flakes, you can make your own by crushing or grinding dried red chile peppers.[2] Since different chile varieties have different heat levels and flavor profiles, you'll want to add a little at a time when substituting, tasting to get the correct heat level.[4]

Recipes[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. a b c d Nast, Condé (2022-10-18). "The Best Crushed Red Pepper Flakes Are DIY". Epicurious. Retrieved 2024-03-22.
  2. a b c d Bray, Matt (2022-04-07). "What Is Crushed Red Pepper?". PepperScale. Retrieved 2024-03-22.
  3. a b c Nast, Condé (2019-05-22). "Wait, What Are Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, Anyway?". Bon Appétit. Retrieved 2024-03-22.
  4. a b c d Nast, Condé (2020-12-15). "There's More to Chile Flakes Than Crushed Red Pepper". Bon Appétit. Retrieved 2024-03-22.
  5. Everyone (2021-03-11). "Sichuan Chili Flakes: Chinese Ingredients Glossary". The Woks of Life. Retrieved 2024-03-22.