Baking is science and I don't like formulas, but cooking is art and anything goes...and the simpler the better. It's all about less time at the stove and more time at the table. With a forty year passion for food I'm excited to share what I do in the kitchen nearly every day.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Chili Crisp


If you haven’t yet jumped on the chili crisp rage, get ready to be blown away.  It’s so addictive you’ll want to put it on everything. It will be the last thing you think about before falling sleep, and the first when you wake up.

There are many very good store-bought varieties including the original Lao Gan Ma with a head shot of a Chinese grandma on the label. I’ve heard rumors her spicy chili crisp made her one of the first millionaires in China. 

Trader Joe’s has a take on her sauce as do a lot of celebrity chefs. However, the best one I’ve had so far is one a friend gave me along with this recipe from Bon Appetit magazine.

Thinly slice four shallots and simmer in a small pot over medium heat along with two heads of sliced garlic, one and a half cups of vegetable oil, two cinnamon sticks, and six star anise. Cook for about twenty minutes or until the shallots and garlic are browned.

In a medium bowl, mix together a finely chopped 2” piece of ginger, a quarter cup of red chili flakes, two tablespoons of soy sauce and a tablespoon of sugar.  Drain the shallot mixture through a fine sieve into the ginger mixture.  Let the chunks in the sieve cool, then stir back into the chili oil. 

Store in sealed containers in the fridge for up to a month, but don’t worry it won’t last that long. It even makes poached soft tofu irresistible, and that’s something I didn’t think I’d ever say.

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