Korean Chili Flakes vs Chili Flakes

Last Updated on February 24, 2024 by Lauren Beck

If you enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, you may have observed Korean chili flakes appearing in culinary instructions recently. However, what sets Korean chili flakes apart from the usual variety?

The main difference between korean chili flakes and regular chili flakes is the type of pepper used to make them. Korean Chili Flakes are usually made with Gochugaru peppers, which are a type of Korean red pepper. These peppers are typically sun-dried before being ground into korean chili flakes, resulting in an unmistakably smoky flavor and bright red color. In comparison, regular chili flakes are usually made with cayenne or jalapeno peppers that have been dried and crushed, resulting in a slightly milder flavor and orange-red color.

About Korean Chili Flakes

Korean chili flakes, referred to as gochugaru in korean [1], are a key component of korean cuisine. They are used to add flavor and spice to many dishes like kimchi, soups and stews. They’re also great for marinades and sauces. The flavor is described as sweet yet mildly spicy and smoky.

Is Korean Red Pepper Powder The Same As Chili Flakes?

No, korean red pepper powder is not the same as chili flakes. Korean red pepper powder is made from ground korean red peppers and has a much finer texture than korean chili flakes. While korean chili flakes can be used in place of korean red pepper powder in some recipes, such as kimchi or marinades, they are not interchangeable in all cases.

How Are Korean Chili Flakes Made?

Korean chili flakes are made by drying korean red peppers and then grinding them into a fine powder. The korean red peppers used to make korean chili flakes have a deep red color and smoky flavor that is distinct from regular chili flakes.

Are Korean Chili Flakes Hot?

Korean chili flakes have a moderate level of heat that is described as somewhat sweet with a mild spiciness. The heat from korean chili flakes can range from mild to medium depending on the brand, so it’s best to start with a small amount and adjust accordingly.

What Does Korean Chili Flakes Taste Like?

Korean chili flakes have a distinct smoky flavor with a hint of sweetness, making them different from regular chili flakes. They are also much brighter in color and have a milder heat than traditional chili flakes.

How do You Use Korean Chili Flakes?

Here are some ideas for adding korean chili flakes to your recipes:

  • Sprinkle them over kimchi or stir fries.
  • Use korean chili flakes to make spicy korean stews and soups.
  • Add korean chili flakes to marinades for meat and fish dishes.
  • Spice up your macaroni and cheese with korean chili flakes.
  • Sprinkle korean chili flakes over salads for a kick of heat and smoky flavor.

What Can I Substitute for Korean Chili Flakes?

different chili flakes

If korean chili flakes are not available, regular chili flakes (made from cayenne or jalapeno peppers) can be used as a substitute. However, the flavor will not be quite the same and the heat level may differ.

How To Store Korean Chili Flakes?

Korean chili flakes should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months. If stored properly, korean chili flakes can last for up to 1 year.

Can You Use Chilli Powder Instead Of Flakes?

In some cases, korean chili powder can be used in place of korean chili flakes. However, it’s important to keep in mind that korean chili powder is more finely ground than korean chili flakes, so the intensity of the heat will vary.


Korean chili flakes are a key ingredient in korean cooking, adding char and smokiness to kimchi, soups, stews and marinades. They have a distinct flavor that is both sweet and mildy spicy. While regular chili flakes can be used as a substitute, korean chili flakes are the best way to get the authentic korean flavor. When stored in an airtight container, korean chili flakes can last up to 1 year.


Lauren Beck
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