Korean Chile Pepper
Korean Chile Pepper Stats
Length: 4 - 5"
Scientific Name: Capsicum annuum
Other Names: inchanga chile, kochu
Scoville Range: unknown
Korean Chile Pepper Origin and History
The Korean chile was reluctantly introduced to the Koreans by the Japanese in the 17th century. It was called the "Japanese mustard" by Portuguese missionaries. It was once believed that the chile would grow only in its native regions of Central and South America but today there are over 1 million kg exported from Korea each year.
Before the chile was introduced, Korean cuisine did not contain red pepper. At that time, dishes were flavored with salt and alcohol. At present, it is reported that Koreans consume the highest chile per capita in the world. The chile is popular not only for the taste but its nutrients which include protein, carotene and vitamin B12.
Korean Chile Pepper Description
The chile goes from a dark green to bright red at maturity, which takes 90 to 100 days. The pepper has a thin wall and tapered, elongated shape with glossy skin and the shell contains a large number of seeds.
The flavor of the Korean chile is very distinct because of the unique geography of Korean's mountainous regions, sea air, soil and water. Its pungency makes it well suited for chile powder.
Korean Chile Pepper How to Serve or Use
Korean chiles are used fully ripe, dried, powdered and as a paste. Korean chile paste is also known as kochu-jang or gochujang. It is used in stews, soups and as a marinade. The paste makes a spicy vegetable dip and is also prepared as a broth by adding boiling water. The chile paste has several medicinal benefits which include helping blood circulation and aiding in weight loss.
Korean chile pepper flavors kim chi, or pickled vegetables, which is an important dish in the Korean diet. It is used as an ingredient in several spicy stuffing recipes. Korean chiles are also added to pan fried pork slices for extra essence. Cucumbers sprinkled with Korean chile are an easy to prepare appetizer.
Image(s) provided by: