Chili powder versus Red Pepper Powder or flakes

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    • #49188

      I was looking at the video Maangchi has up on making KimChi and a viewer had asked a question on the suitability of Chili powder as a substitute for Red Pepper Powder or Flakes. I can answer that question. Absolutely not.

      Chili powder is a mix of many different spices, and is not even similar to Red Pepper flakes. The closest thing we have in North America would be crushed chilis, which would then have to be ground into powder (or Cayenne Pepper) and either of these would lose a pungency that exists in the Red Pepper Flakes or Powder of Korean variety. Both ground crushed chilis and cayenne pepper make a reasonable substitute if the proper flakes/powder are not available, but both flavour and the red color would suffer. I hope this helps someone to not ruin a batch of KimChi with Chili Powder.

      The Viking

      Oh, by the way. Excellent video and excellent recipe for KimChi, Maangchi, but you knew that, right?

    • #52995

      Thank you very much! I will refer this page if I’m asked the same question by someone else again. Love you! Happy Holidays!

    • #52996

      I would like to add to this. There are several kinds of chili powder: there’s mexican or Indian style which indeed has other herbs mixed in, but I have also seen ‘pure’ chili powder with no other spices. One can easily check this on the package. If you cannot read the ingredients, don’t buy it (at least not for kimchi).

      I have made Kimchi with this pure kind of chili powder before, and the result was fine. I cannot say that it’s the same as korean chili pepper (it is not coarse, lacks a more deep, subtle flavor, and it’s way more spicy so you cannot add as much) but if it’s your only option to make kimchi it surely is worth it. It can be found easily in any asian kind of store, or even the spices and herbs section of your supermarket.

    • #52997

      I have made numerious batches of Maangchi’s kimchi. And this is what i have learned about adding heat to the kimchi.

      First batch i added 4 cups of cheyenne (sp?) pepper becuase i didnt have hot pepper powder. And this turned out VERY VERY hot. At the edge of unedible.

      SECOND i bought hot pepper powder ( may have bought the wrong one) and added 5 cups and this was VERY VERY mild.(No heat at all) So i got to thinking that i may be able to use crushed hot pepper (like what they give you to put on pizza)instead of pepper powder. But i knew that if i didn’t use powder it would not have the Red color that it is supposed to have. So here is what i use and it works great for me. BUT this does have ALOT of heat to it. You could adjust it as you see fit.

      3/4c hot pepper powder (the type the recipe calls for )

      3/4c Cheyenne powder

      3/4c Crushed chili pepper

      Follow the rest of the recipe as noted.

      I hope this helps!

      BTW HUGE fan Maangchi!

    • #52998

      Hai everyone… from my experience of making kimchi, I think I should use dried chili pepper and blend it until it become coarse/flakes. before this, I boil the dried chili pepper and then blend it with a little water, but my porridge become a litle watery… so, next time I think I have to just blend the dried chilli pepper instead of boil it and blend it with water. but I wonder, what proses I should use to make sure that dried chilli pepper is clean/hygiene. do anyone here have a good answer? (sorry for the bad grammar….hehehe)

    • #52999

      You shouldn’t have to worry about the chili pepper. It has no protein and is fairly acidic so it can’t harbour pathogenic bacteria, and because it’s dry, it’d be very difficult for it to grow anyway. If they are whole chilies and have visible dirt on them, just give them a quick wash and pat them dry.

    • #53000


      thank you so much for your great information…

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