Accept No Substitutes for Sichuan Chili Flakes
Hello, Friends of The Mala Market!
Dropping a quick line mainly to let you know that The Mala Market will have delayed shipping in the first half of April. If you think you'll need Sichuan supplies soon, please order by the end of March, as everything ordered in the first two weeks of April will be shipped around April 16.
We apologize for that inconvenience, but Fong Chong and I are taking advantage of her spring break to head back to Chengdu for another sourcing trip. Our main pursuit this time is premium, long-aged Pixian chili bean paste. Wish us luck on the hunt!
In the meantime, did you know that Sichuan chili flakes are made differently than other chili flakes? No matter how you make your chili oil, you want Sichuan ground chiles as the base. Italian-style, generic crushed chili flakes are all wrong for Sichuan cooking, and even Korean flakes are less than ideal (though certainly better than Italian). Sichuan chili flakes are made by frying the whole chilies in vegetable oil until crisp before grinding into flakes, seeds and powder. The frying enhances the flavor, color and texture and makes for the toasty taste and vivid red coloring that characterize Sichuan chili oil, without dyes or additives.
You can use whole dried chili peppers and do the frying and grinding yourself, or you can use those readymade in Sichuan. Our fragrant hot ground chilies are a combination of facing heaven, er jin tiao and xiao mi chilies and make a deep-red, moderately hot chili oil. Ground chilies are also used in numerous Sichuan dishes, including mapo doufu, Chongqing chicken, dry pot, hot pot, etc.
We've recently lowered the price on both sizes of ground chilies in hopes that you'll check them out!
Thank you for reading, shopping and cooking with us,
Taylor & Fong Chong