Senior video producer Guillermo Riveros is making condiments and sauces to deck out all his quarantine dishes as
weeks months of cooking at home start to take a toll on creativity and excitement. Here he shows us how to make a DIY version of one of his favorite store-bought condiments, the cult favorite chili crisp or chili oil (which happens to be among our most favorite pantry items in general at Chowhound).
This version, unlike the original (Lao Gan Ma’s Spicy Chili Oil) does not require Sichuan pepper powder or MSG, keeping it extra pantry-friendly. Don’t be surprised if this becomes your new favorite spicy condiment, as this chili oil packs layers of flavors and textured goodies like garlic and ginger. It’s guaranteed to turn all your meals—both savory and sweet—from good to amazing (seriously, try it on frozen pizza or vanilla ice cream).
How to Make Chili Oil
You likely have everything you need for this easy chili oil recipe in your pantry, or can easily find it; be sure to use smoked paprika. If you can’t find star anise pods, use ground anise (you can do the same with the cinnamon). And be sure to let your fried bits cool completely in the strainer so they stay crisp!
OXO Good Grips Fine Mesh Strainer, $19.99 from Amazon
Crucial for keeping your fried bits crunchy.
Weck Mold Jars, 6 for $39.95 from Williams Sonoma
You'll also need some sort of jar for holding your chili oil, of course.
How to Use Chili Oil
Spooning some over a fried egg is always a good idea, and it will instantly perk up steamed broccoli, roasted veggies, rice, seafood, or meat—but seriously, try it on anything and everything; here are some specific suggestions:
Header image by Guillermo Riveros