Life

Make James Park's Everyday Savoury Chili Crisp — then enjoy it on everything

Seriously, everything. You’re going to want to double this recipe.

Seriously, everything. You’re going to want to double this recipe

Overhead shot of a table with 2 plates of dumplings and a small bowl of chili sauce.
(Photography by Heami Lee)

​​It's no surprise that James Park has lots of his homemade chili crisp in the fridge, but we love to hear that he keeps a few store-bought jars around too. "Even though I love my chili crisp recipe so much, I can never replace the iconic taste of Laoganma chili crisp!" he told us. (To which we say IYKYK!)

And it’s no surprise the author of Chili Crisp: 50+ Recipes to Satisfy Your Spicy, Crunchy, Garlicky Cravings uses it in ways that might raise an eyebrow. “My favourite chili crisp pairing often surprises lots of people, which is chili crisp over Greek yogurt,” he said. We asked him what other uses he’d promote. “Anything citrusy and creamy works so well with chili crisp,” he said. “So think of heavy cream, cream cheese, sour cream.” It’s also great with traditionally European dishes, he added, like potato gratin, beef bourguignon and bolognese because it offsets the richness of the sauces while adding heat and umami.

Try making a batch (or two) of his Everyday Savoury Chili Crisp, below, from his cookbook. Then use it on almost everything — including his recipe for Instant Tan Tan Shin Ramyun.

Everyday Savoury Chili Crisp

By James Park

There are two essential things to consider when making the perfect chili crisp: the oil-to-crisp ratio and the flavour profiles. I decided that my ideal chili crisp would have more crisp than oil and different types of crunchy, savoury fillings, such as fried shallots and chicken bouillon powder. A unique blend of chili flakes creates complex and layered levels of heat. And making an oil infused with gochujang, green onion, and garlic as a base creates a rich, beautiful red colour for the oil. I highly recommend doubling the recipe so that it lasts even longer — believe me, you’ll use it up faster than you think!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (480 ml) neutral oil, such as vegetable or canola
  • 1 tbsp gochujang
  • ¾ cup (80 g) chopped green onions (4 to 6 medium)
  • 6 to 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 tbsp (40 g) gochugaru
  • 5 tbsp (40 g) Sichuan chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp Aleppo pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp chicken bouillon powder (see note)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp MSG
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp black vinegar
  • ½ cup (60 g) fried shallots

Preparation

In a small saucepan, add 1 cup (240 ml) of the oil and the gochujang. Turn the heat to super low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the gochujang starts to bubble and the oil darkens slightly. Add the green onions and cook for another 2 to 4 minutes, or until soft. Add the minced garlic, increase the heat to medium-low, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onions and garlic are crisp and fragrant. Set aside.

While the oil is cooling, in an 8 in (20 cm) heatproof, preferably stainless steel, medium bowl, combine the gochugaru, Sichuan chili flakes, sesame seeds, Aleppo pepper flakes, sesame oil, chicken powder, sugar, salt, ginger, MSG, soy sauce, and vinegar.

Pour the infused oil directly into the bowl with the ingredients. Mix with a heatproof spatula so there are no lumps. There should not be any sizzle at this stage.

In the now-empty saucepan, add the remaining 1 cup (240 ml) of oil and heat over high heat for 3 minutes, or until the oil smokes. Carefully pour the hot oil into the bowl of the ingredients; the hot oil should sizzle as it hits the bowl. If the mixture doesn’t sizzle, heat the oil in 30-second intervals.

Let the mixture sit for at least 5 minutes. Then, add the fried shallots and carefully mix everything again. Let the mixture come to room temperature and then transfer it to an airtight container. It can be stored in the fridge for about 3 months.

Makes about 4 cups (860 g)


Excerpted from Chili Crisp: 50+ Recipes to Satisfy Your Spicy, Crunchy, Garlicky Cravings by James Park © 2023. Published by Chronicle Books. Reproduced by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved.

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