Korean chilli threads

Photography: Pablo Martin

If your knife skills are such that you can slice red chilli in your sleep you might as well stop reading now. For the rest of us mere mortals, it's Korea to the rescue. Meet sil kochu (aka sil ko'chu, shilgochu and other variations on the theme), pre-cut hair-fine slices of chilli, a traditional favourite in Korean garnishing (along with egg yolk and white, watercress, and black fungus, it's one of the constituent parts of the traditional five-colour garnish typically seen on festival dishes). Sold dried, the threads don't have the intense flavour and burn of Thai cooking's fresh chilli garnishes, but rather a mild warmth. Our local contact, table181australia.com, currently only wholesales, but that looks set to change.

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