Korean cooking forum topics
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I finally learned – the hard way – my Maangchi stores her red pepper flakes in the freezer. This is my sad story.
There was my 1kg bag of pepper flakes in my pantry: a dark, dry place and ideal for storage. I had the flakes double-bagged in Zip-loc bags. No problem, I thought. WRONG.
After a couple of months of not using said flakes, I went to the pantry, and lo and behold: the beautiful red of the peppers had gone and instead I had these pale coral-coloured flakes. I opened the bags, and ugh – they were musty, damp, and clumpy. Completely off. I had to toss it away. Almost a whole 1kg bag! *sob!*
So I opened up my back-up bag, and this time I have done as Maangchi does: put it straight in the freezer!
I’m not sure how or why my flakes went off like this, particularly since dried chilies and chili flakes keep for such a long time, but I’m guessing Korean red pepper flakes are far more delicate and possibly have a higher water content after drying. (It wouldn’t take much water, by the way.)
So if you’re wondering why you should store your flakes in the freezer, wonder no more, and learn from me!
Thank you for sharing the story about your hot pepper flakes! yes, it should be stored in the freezer.
My mom also stores red pepper in the freezer, but I found my lesson the hard way as well. Kept mine in a cute little non-airtight crock. It was o.k. for a couple of weeks until I found what looked like little cobwebs in it. Turns out that despite thinking hot peppers are a hostile environment, there are still pests that will happily munch on the stuff. Now I have the bulk in the freezer and keep a few cups in an airtight container in the fridge for everyday use.
That’s a great idea, Unchienne! I’ll do that too, I think. It’s a bit of a hassle going to my big freezer in the laundry just to get a couple of tablespoons of pepper flakes out.
And now that you mention it, I think mine may have had cobwebby things in it, too. Urgh.
Mine went moldy but I wonder if it could be used as it is red pepper flakes?
My mother kept red pepper flakes in the freezer, and she also would save the canisters from Kraft Parmesan cheese, wash them out and use them for red pepper flakes or toasted sesame seeds. Most of the recipes I wrote down from my mom include a number of “shakes” of red pepper or sesame seeds. I keep the large bag of red pepper in the freezer, and I also keep one of the shaker bottles of red pepper in the freezer door so it is still handy.
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