Homemade Chili Crisp

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Chef Mark Thompson is not only a fan of homemade chili crisp, but has found multiple ways to enjoy it. He says, “It’s a great condiment to have on hand. It’s delicious on noodles, rice or ramen; on raw vegetable salads (especially those made with cucumbers and celery); on cooked vegetables; mixed into yogurt for a dip; with a bagel and cream cheese; on eggs, meats or seafood; or even on ice cream.” (We love it on Chef Mark’s broccolini toast.)

Just like the bottled version, homemade chili crisp keeps indefinitely in the fridge, so go nuts and make a double batch to share with a friend. You can find all the necessary ingredients at a local Asian market.

Makes 1 1/2 cups

1/2 cup thinly sliced garlic (see note)

1 1/2 cups neutral oil

2 cinnamon sticks, approximately 3 inches long

6 star anise

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

1/4 cup crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns, ground (optional)

½ teaspoon cumin seeds, ground

¼ cup sesame seeds

crispy, golden garlic

½ cup chopped peanuts or cashews

Bring garlic, oil, cinnamon and star anise to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat, adjust heat to maintain a simmer until the garlic is golden and crisp. Do not rush this step. While garlic is simmering, mix together the rest of the chili crisp ingredients in a bowl big enough to hold everything along with the bubbling oil.

When garlic is ready, strain oil mixture through a mesh strainer into the bowl. There will be bubbling, be careful! Allow the garlic to cool in the strainer. Stir the mixture in the bowl and allow to cool. When both the garlic and the oil mixture are cool, combine in bowl. Transfer mixture to a lidded glass jar and store in the fridge.

Note: If possible, use a mandolin or garlic slicer for the most thin and uniform slices.

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