Very few things are as addictive as spicy chili crisp. If you’ve had it, you know what it’s like. If you haven’t you really don’t know what you’re missing!
Yes, I’m fortunate and can easily buy it at my local Asian supermarket. But, there’s nothing like the satisfaction of trying to recreate it at home, and having it come out spot on! The other benefit of making it at home, is it gives me an excuse to fry up extra shallots and make extra soy nuts. Crispy shallots are great for garnishing a multitude of dishes (but that’s another post!) and soy nuts make a delicious snack.
The important part is to make sure you use the hot oil at the end to bloom the spices and chilies. This is a very important step! Blooming is essential to releasing the flavors and oils from the chilis and spices, and really brings out the depth of the flavors.
Spicy Chili Crisp
Makes 16 fluid ounces
- 1/2 cup dried Chinese chili flakes (or Japanese/Japones chilies)
- 1/2 cup Kashmiri chili flakes
- 1/2 cup Guajillo chili flakes
- 1 Tbsp. Szechuan pepper, ground
- 1 Tbsp. mushroom powder (shiitake)
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 tsp. ginger powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
- 1/4 tsp MSG (optional)
- 2 star anise, whole
- 1 cup peanut oil or soybean oil
- 1/2 cup shallots, halved and thinly sliced (about 4 small shallots)
- 1/4 cup garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup soy nuts, coarsely crushed
- If using whole dried Kashmiri and Guajillo chilis, break off the stem end and shake out the seeds into a bowl. Coursely chop the chilis and add to a spice grinder (I use a coffee grinder), grind until coursely ground or about the size of regular chili flakes.
- Add the three different chili flakes to a medium saucepan along with the ground Szechuan pepper, mushroom powder, black pepper, salt, sugar, ground cumin, cinnamon, mushroom powder and MSG (if using). Wrap the star anise in a cheese cloth pouch (it makes it easier to find), add to the saucepan, mix and set aside.
- In another medium saucepan, heat the peanut oil over high heat to 350°F. Turn heat to medium and in two batches, carefully add the thinly sliced shallots to the hot oil and cook until light brown in color. Use a fine mesh strainer to remove the shallots and transfer to a bowl.
- Once all shallots and residue are removed from the hot oil, cook the thinly sliced garlic in two batches, transfering each with the strainer to a bowl. Do not overcook the garlic or the batch will taste bitter. It should be a light golden brown in color.
- Heat the oil back to 350°F then pour over the chili and spice mix, stir well to bloom the spices. Let sit for 15 minutes, or until cool to the touch. Remove the star anise pouch and add the fried shallots, garlic and soy nuts. Mix well.
- Can be served immediately, but the flavors are better after sitting for a couple days. Store in the fridge for up to two months.