I wouldn’t say I’m someone who gets obsessive about making my own condiments. I will, maybe occasionally, make mayo or an aioli if I need it for a dressing or sandwich, but typically I think most condiments are better store bought. I have my particular mustards, Maille and Grey Poupon on everything. It’s gotta be Hellman’s or Kewpie for the mayo. And there is nothing better than Bull-Dog sauce.
With all that said, I’m sure there are plenty of better chili crisps out there, but there is something so satisfying about making it myself. So, this is one condiment I like to make, and frequently do. The slowly frying shallots, the clattering sound they make when they’re all crisp and golden, and the fact that I can adjust the spice and sweetness level depending on what I’m feeling, are all reasons why I’ll keep this one as a DIY.
This is one of those recipes that takes some time, mostly all hands off. And, like me, you can customize this as much as you want and make any substitutions you need to. I’ve made it with fennel seeds when I didn’t have any star anise left, and it was great. I’ve substituted red onions for shallots cause I didn’t have any, and it was delish. And like I mentioned before, I’ll vary the spice level, that way I can pile lots more on without completely burning off my taste buds. And whenever I have this available, it’s going on everything.Jump to Recipe
The slowly frying shallots, the clattering sound they make when they’re all crisp and golden, and the fact that I can adjust the spice and sweetness level depending on what I’m feeling, are all reasons why I’ll keep this one as a DIY.
- 1 1/2 c neutral oil
- 2 heads garlic thinly sliced
- 4 shallots thinly sliced
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 5 star anise
- 2-3” knob of ginger finely diced or grated
- 1/2 c red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp MSG
- 1/4 c roasted sesame seeds
- 3 cloves ground
- 2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns ground
- Add garlic, shallots, cinnamon sticks and star anise to cold oil. Turn on heat and slowly fry everything until deep golden brown. You know you’ve gotten close to cooking off all the water when you don’t have a rapid, foamy boil happening anymore. Should take about 20-30 minutes.
- Add the remaining items to a heat proof bowl, or another pot, and set a strainer on top. When garlic and shallots have reached that deep golden brown, strain the oil into your heat proof bowl so it toasts and sizzles those remaining items and strains out the toasted garlic and onion mixture.
- Set aside the garlic and shallots to cool to room temp. Gently stir the hot oil mixture, be careful not to burn yourself that oil is hot. Let the come to room temp as well.
- Once everything is cooled, you can combine those crispy bits with the oil, give it a mix and stash in a jar or air tight container. And then it’s ready to use!