© Denzil Green
Chile Flakes are dried chiles that are crushed into flakes. The flakes are usually red, but don’t have to be red — they can be made from green chiles such as jalapeno.
Commercially, the producer may filter seeds out after grinding, or they may leave them and the membranes in, to make it hotter (or cheaper.) In higher quality flakes, the stems, seeds and white membranes are removed.
Some commercial chile flakes are made from chiles that were both smoked and dried.
The flakes on sale can be mixtures of different types of chiles, or pure from one type of chile. The heat of the flakes depends on the chiles or peppers used.
To make your own: Wash your chiles and pat them dry.
Stem and seed your chiles. Cut out most of the white membrane. (Optional: leave seeds and membrane in for hotter.)
Ideally, you can dry them naturally in the sun. Otherwise you have to do it in an oven or dehydrator — and be prepared to face the electricity bill — about 10 hours at 275 F (135 C) in a dehydrator or 8-10 hours at 200 F / 100 C in an oven. They need to be dried out until brittle. Then, crush with a rolling pin, or in a food processor.
A colander full of fresh peppers will yield about ½ cup of flake.
Store in a tightly sealed container in refrigerator for longest life-span.
Aka “crushed red pepper.”
In Italian, sometimes referred to as “diavolochino.”