Hooked on Chinese Chili Crisp? Time to make your own! Easily customizable, let this recipe be your guide. Feel free to experiment with different nuts and spices if you are inspired!
~ 2 cups dried whole chilis (mix and match your favorite varietals) or 1/2 cup of coarsely ground chili flakes
1/4 cup roasted, salted peanuts, chopped
1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced into thin matchsticks or minced
1-2 pieces whole star anise
1-2 red or black cardamom pods, split in half (optional if available)
2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns, coarsely ground
1 tsp freshly ground cumin
1 tsp freshly ground black peppercorns
1.5 cups peanut oil, or any other neutral oil
1/3 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/3 cup thinly sliced garlic
Slice open dried chiles to remove and discard seeds and stems. Using a spice grinder, working in batches, process chiles until they are ground to a size just larger than standard chili flakes (for better crisp-y texture). Transfer processed chiles to a heatproof bowl or pot large enough to accommodate the soon-to-be bubbling oil. Combine chili flakes with peanuts, ginger, star anise, cardamom, Sichuan peppercorn, cumin, and black pepper. Set aside.
Set a fine-mesh strainer over a 2-qt heatproof bowl. In a saucepan, combine the oil with the shallots and turn on the burner. Cook over high heat while constantly stirring. Once shallots become lightly golden, strain immediately. Pour the oil back into the pot and add garlic next. Cook over medium-low heat, constantly stirring, until light golden brown, then strain. Set aside fried shallots and garlic (once cooled, you can chop them coarsely or leave as is). Return oil to pot once more and heat to about 375°F (190°C). Pour hot oil over chilis, spices, and other seasonings. Stir well to distribute hot oil throughout. Set aside to fully cool, about 30 minutes or until bowl or pot is cool to the touch. Once chili-and-oil mixture has fully cooled, remove star anise and cardamom pods. Mix in fried shallots and garlic. Pour finished chili crisp into jars and store in the fridge. Stir well before serving.