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Spicy Turmeric Chili Crisp

Three cheers for spicy Chili Crisp, the universal condiment ready to crank up the flavor of everything you cook. Chili crisp is easy to make at home, easy to customize to your flavor preferences, and even easier to use!

This is a spin-off based on the good folks at Bon Apetit, but adjusted per our preferred flavors and aromas. Primarily, we’re including the health superstar turmeric, the ever aromatic coriander, the umami feels of sesame oil, and the nibble of sesame seeds!

This chili crisp recipe is our household special and beloved blend– it isn’t authentic, it’s our expression of the condiment that we hope you’ll enjoy as well!

Chili crisp spooned over pasta on a platter

What Is Chili Crisp?

Chili crisp is a condiment added as a finishing garnish to add flavor, color, and texture to recipes. Dried spices, onions, garlic, and peppers are simmered in oil for a crunchy chili oil with big flavor, aroma, and texture! A great chili crisp can enhance a meal any time of the day– breakfast, dinner, and even dessert!

Ohhhh my sweet, spicy, umami, textury, goodness! We trust you will fall in love with this superb condiment! Chili crisp has taken plating and garnishing to an entirely new level with its warm hues, bold flavors, and texture pops!

Chili crisp oils and sauces have long been available for purchase but started moonlighting the plates of food media heavily last year, in 2019.

Ingredients to make chili crisp on a tray

Steps To Make Chili Crisp

Let’s dive in- how to make chili crisp! The first time you make this delectable condiment it might require patience to chop and close supervision to fry but it’s worth it!

How to make spicy chili crisp:

  1. Peel the garlic cloves, shallots, turmeric, and ginger.
  2. Using either a mandolin or a food processor with a shredding disc slice shallots and garlic thinly and evenly. We used a food processor shredding disc at the #2 thickness setting!
  3. Use a Microplane or zester to finely grate the turmeric and ginger.
  4. Place coriander, turmeric, ginger, sugar, sesame seeds & oil, soy sauce, and chili flakes into a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  5. Add vegetable oil to a medium saucepan and warm over low heat. We want the oil hot but not scalding.
  6. Once the oil is hot add the garlic slices and shallots and simmer gently for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
  7. This mixture needs to simmer until shallots and garlic are both an inviting golden brown color, about 20 minutes. Keep a very close eye on things as we don’t want them to burn. If the shallots or garlic burn this mixture will have a very bitter taste.
  8. Once the shallot mixture is nice and brown– it won’t seem crispy– nice and brown, remove from heat and pour through a mesh strainer over the bowl of dried spices so the hot oil pours onto the spices.
  9. Lay the fried shallots and garlic onto a few pieces of paper towels to air dry and crisp up. Yum.
  10. Once the oil is cool add the shallots and garlic back into the oil and stir gently to combine. Place in a jar for storage in the fridge and use as needed!
Shallots in a food processor about to be thinly sliced
A bowl of spices with a strainer over it

How Spicy Is Chili Crisp?

Chili crisp recipes range in level of heat just as chili peppers do! We’ve found that with lower heat versions of chili crisp, more flavors come through like sweet, umami, nutty, and tangy.

With a super spicy chili crisp, it’s more like a complex hot sauce. Primarily you feel the heat but catch little flavor pops here and there.

To adjust the heat in this recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon chile flakes= mild, very flavorful chili crisp
  • 2 tablespoons chile flakes= medium heat
  • 3 tablespoons chile flakes= HOT

TIP: Use a food processor instead of a mandolin!

Many recipes for making your own chile crisp sauce at home call for a mandolin. A mandolin is beneficial for quickly, thinly, and evenly slicing foods when its not slashing fingers or growing dust in your cabinet.

Yes, thin and even slices do indeed make a difference in this recipe. Even slices create equal cooking times– helpful for ensuring your shallots, turmeric, ginger, and garlic all cook up in about the same amount of time. Thin slices help increase the surface area to allow for proper crisping up in that hot oil.

You girls and guys. We can achieve this very same feat with our trusty food processors. All while keeping your fingers out of harms way. Simply remove the standard ‘S blade’ (Sabatier) and replace it with the shredding disc. Use the feed chute to drop your peeled items in and VOILA! Let them be chopped!

Time saved, fingers saved, shallots chopped. We done here.

shallots and garlic on a paper towel. They are the crispy bits in chili crisp.

My Chili Crisp Doesn’t Stay Crunchy…

Think of this as ‘chile texture’! Yes, after placing all ingredients in the fridge the delicious, satisfying, and crunchy fried shallots and garlic always seem to lose their ‘crisp’.

This is normal, even across store-bought brands and products.

We like the addition of chopped cashews if you are truly after the ‘crisp’ in chile crisp! Chopped cashews don’t have that light, airy fried texture and seemingly weightless crunch that fried shallots have, but they do indeed add a crunch to this delicious concoction.

Whole sesame seeds also play nice here– we evenly swap out and use both sesame seeds and cashews.

Homemade chili crisp in a jar using willamette transplant's recipe

How Do You Use Spicy Chili Crisp?

You can think of chili crisp as many think of hot sauce– it’s a condiment to add flavor and color once your dish is plated, just before taking your first bite.

We usually finish our jar of chili crisp within 2 weeks of making it– here’s how we use it:

  • Add to scrambles, bagels, toast, or savory oatmeal
  • Top hummus with chili crisp
  • Spoon over pasta, dumplings, or ravioli
  • Use in place or in addition to salad dressing
  • On PIZZA
  • Add a spoonful to garnish a bowl of soup
  • The final kiss on steamed or roasted veggies
  • Consume with fresh bread in place of dukkah!
  • Plays well with rice and quinoa
  • Drizzle over mac and cheese
  • Dollop over grilled protein
  • As a finishing touch to corn on the cobb

Chili crisp usually comes to mind when we’ve got a quick weeknight dinner, mostly uninspired and utilizing leftovers. If you’re looking down at a welcoming but run-of-the-mill plate of food– your jar of chili crisp can resurrect it.

A hand spooning spicy chili crisp out of a jar
How Long Does Chili Crisp Last?

We usually finish our jar of spicy chili crisp long before it has the chance to go bad. If kept in the refrigerator, the chili crisp should last for at least 3-4 weeks without spoiling or developing off-flavors. We doubt you’ll have it this long!

It’s important to slowly fry the shallots and garlic to ensure that the moisture within them is released– this helps give the spicy chili sauce that 3-4 week shelf life!

FAQs About Turmeric Chili Crisp
  1. Can I substitute onions instead of shallots? Onions can be used in place of shallots to make chili crisp. Onions have a higher moisture content than shallots do, so cooking time and temperature may vary.
  2. Can I use fresh peppers in this recipe? You can use fresh peppers in place or in addition to chili pepper flakes. Remove the stem, seeds, and inner membranes then prepare the same as the shallot/garlic mixture.
  3. Is chili crisp spicy? Chili crisp ranges from mild to extra spicy depending on how you make it and on how spicy the brand of chili flakes is.
  4. Do I need to use sesame oil? Sesame oil has an amazing nutty, umami, bold undertone and it adds so much flavor to this chili crisp. While not required, we highly recommend it!
  5. What do you put chili crisp on? Chili crisp is a great accompaniment to savory breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes across cuisine and styles. A dash of this powerhouse also works well with some desserts!
Pasta that's bee garnished with turmeric chili crisp
Print

Turmeric Chile Crisp

Close up shot of chili crisp on top of pasta

Chili crisp is the spicy chili condiment you can drizzle, dribble, or drop on just about anything you cook at home. A spicy chili crisp garnish adds sweet, umami, and heat that can transform your run-of-the-mill weeknight dinners into restaurant-worthy meals served at home!

  • Author: Adriana
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: ~1 cup
  • Category: Condiments
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian-Inspired

Ingredients

  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil, maybe a few glugs more
  • 2” fresh ginger, finely grated or chopped
  • 2” fresh turmeric, finely grated or chopped (or 2 teaspoons ground)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 13 tablespoons chili flakes, based on heat preference
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seed or chopped cashews

Instructions

  1. Peel the garlic cloves, shallots, turmeric, and ginger.
  2. Using either a mandolin or a food processor with a shredding disc slice shallots and garlic thinly and evenly. We used a food processor shredding disc on the #2 thickness setting!
  3. Use a Microplane or zester to finely grate the turmeric and ginger. Or finely dice by hand.
  4. Place coriander, chili flakes, sugar, soy sauce, turmeric, ginger, sesame seeds & sesame oil into a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  5. Add oil to a small saucepan and warm over low heat. We want the oil hot but not scalding.
  6. Once the oil is hot add the garlic and shallots and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, stirring often.
  7. This mixture needs to simmer until shallots and garlic are both an inviting golden brown color, about 20 minutes. Keep a very close eye on things as we don’t want them to burn. If the shallots or garlic burn this mixture will have a very bitter taste.
  8. Once the shallot mixture is nice and brown– it won’t seem crispy– nice and brown, remove from heat and pour through a mesh strainer over the bowl of dried spices– we want the hot oil to mix with all the seasonings.
  9. Lay the fried shallots and garlic onto a few pieces of paper towels to air dry and crisp up. Yum.
  10. Once the oil is cool add the shallots and garlic back into the oil and stir gently to combine. Place in a jar for storage in the fridge and use as needed!
  11. This recipe has a high ratio of fried shallots to oil- we like it this way. When you combine the oil and shallots together, they might not be fully submerged and that’s okay!
  12. Store in the fridge for 3-4 weeks and use as a garnish on all your favorite meals!

Notes

** While the shallots and garlic will fry in the oil, but when you add them together in a jar the shallots won’t be fully submerged in the oil. This is okay! (Honestly, it will help them stay crisp!) BUT if you prefer, you can add a few more tablespoons of oil to submerge them.

** Do NOT burn the garlic or shallots! You want a deep golden brown. If you burn the garlic or shallots while frying the oil will develop a very bitter and unpleasant taste. Go low and slow and keep a close eye on things for 25 minutes or so!

Keywords: Spicy Chili Crisp



This post first appeared on Willamette Transplant, please read the originial post: here

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