DIY Chili Crisp Recipe

Bursting with fiery flavors and tantalizing textures, chili crisp is a delightful condiment that hails from the vibrant culinary landscape of China. This seductive blend of crispy, fragrant shallots, garlic, and chiles swimming in a luscious pool of richly infused oil will take your culinary creations to new heights. Whether you're a spicy food aficionado or simply looking to add an irresistible kick to your dishes, this condiment is a must-try and a must-have in any pantry.

Chili crisp can be used for everything from frying eggs to adding a spicy kick to beef chili. There are tons of great chili crisp brands on the market, each with unique flavors, textures, and ingredients. If you've ever longed to have total control of your chili crisp (or just wanted to save some money by doing a DIY project), why not try making it yourself? We caught up with recipe developer Taylor Murray to find out exactly how to make this spicy sauce at home.

Gather the chili crisp ingredients

Chili crisp needs a few key ingredients in order to get that signature taste and color. The most important ingredient you'll need is some good quality dried chiles. "The chiles you choose will have a huge effect on the flavor and level of spice, so opt for something good quality if you can find it," says Murray. For this recipe, Murray opted for a blend of chile de arbol and chile tipo Japones to keep it simple, but you could absolutely swap some other types like guajillo or ancho chiles. This amount of chiles in this recipe makes a super hot sauce, so if you prefer less spice lower the amount of chiles de arbol (or omit completely).

Along with peppers, you'll need some garlic, shallot, and a few dried shiitake mushrooms. "The dried mushrooms have a ton of umami. Using them blended up like a spice powder is sort of like using MSG — it just adds to the layers of flavor," Murray told us. Measure out a cup of neutral oil; canola or vegetable should be fine. A pinch of sugar adds a subtle sweetness, and toasted sesame seeds and sesame oil bring a nice nuttiness to round everything out.

Prepare the garlic and shallot

Start by thinly slicing the garlic and shallot using a mandoline or a sharp knife. Make sure to be as consistent as absolutely possible, as irregularity can cause burning during the frying process.

Prepare to fry the shallots by placing a fine-meshed sieve over a heatproof bowl and lining it with a large square of paper towel. 

Blend chiles and mushrooms

Grab a blender and blend the dried mushrooms until you have a fine powder. Set aside. Add your chiles to the blender and pulse to form pepper flakes roughly the size of a sesame seed. Add the mushroom powder, sugar, and 2 teaspoons salt to a different heatproof bowl than the one under the sieve and set aside.

Fry the garlic

Place the neutral oil and sliced garlic in a small pot over medium high heat. Bring the temperature up until the garlic starts to fry. Continue cooking, stirring often, as the garlic turns golden brown. As soon as the garlic is brown, immediately dump it onto the paper towel-lined sieve. "Keep in mind that the garlic will brown a shade or two darker even after you remove the pot from heat, and this whole process goes very quick so make sure you are completely ready before you start," says Murray.

Fry the shallot

Return strained oil to pan with shallot over medium high heat. Gradually fry the shallots while stirring often until they are golden brown, about 6 minutes. While the shallots are frying, place the paper towel-lined sieve over the bowl with the crushed chiles and mushroom powder.

As soon as the shallots are golden, pour the shallots and oil over the paper towel to strain. The hot oil should pour over the crushed chiles, briefly frying them.

Chop the fried shallots and garlic

Once you have fried the shallots and garlic and they have cooled, transfer them to a cutting board and finely chop. By that time, the hot oil and ground dried chiles should have cooled to room temperature. Stir the fried shallots and garlic into the chili oil, then add the sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds. 

Taste and adjust

Taste the oil and adjust if needed. "Keep in mind that the flavors in the oil will continue to deepen as the oil sits," says Murray. The oil will keep up to two weeks covered at room temperature. Use it as a topping for rice, dumplings, roasted vegetables, or even grilled chicken or fish.

DIY Chili Crisp Recipe
5 from 24 ratings
Learn how to make your own chili crisp condiment to add a bit of kick to your favorite dishes.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Plate with chili crisp
Total time: 45 minutes
  • ½ cup garlic cloves
  • 3 large shallot
  • 3 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • ¼ cup dried chile de arbol, stems and seeds removed
  • ¾ cup dried chile tipo Japones, stems and seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  1. Thinly slice garlic and shallot using a mandoline or very sharp knife. Line a sieve with paper towel fitted over a heat safe bowl.
  2. Blend dried mushrooms in a blender until broken down to a fine powder. Set aside. Add chiles to blender and pulse to form pepper flakes roughly the size of a sesame seed. Transfer to heatproof bowl along with sugar and 2 teaspoons salt. Set aside.
  3. Bring oil and garlic to a simmer in a small pot over medium high heat. Cook until garlic turns golden brown, about 5 minutes. Quickly strain oil onto paper towel lined sieve. Transfer garlic to cutting board.
  4. Return oil to pan over medium high heat, add shallot and gradually fry until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Place paper towel lined sieve over the bowl with crushed chiles.
  5. When shallots are done, immediately pour over paper towel lined sieve set on top of crushed chiles.
  6. Finely chop both garlic and shallot, then add to bowl with chiles. Stir in sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds. Let cool completely before tasting, adjusting salt if needed.
Calories per Serving 348
Total Fat 33.3 g
Saturated Fat 2.9 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 12.9 g
Dietary Fiber 2.8 g
Total Sugars 4.9 g
Sodium 182.5 mg
Protein 2.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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