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Timber 2 Table - Make Your Own Chili Crisp at Home

Mass-produced chili crisp is everywhere, it seems, but it’s easy to make at home and the results taste even better than store-bought

Make Your Own Chili Crisp at Home

30 Min

Prep Time

30 Min

Cook Time

Easy, Medium


Chili crisp may be the best condiment you’ve never heard about. We use it on everything from eggs to grilled meats, in stir-fries and soups, spread on toasted bread, drizzled over noodles, just about anywhere that will benefit from the spice of chile plus crunchy texture.

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Make your own version of this popular condiment at home to have complete control over the finished flavor.

For a long time, you were lucky to find any chili crisps outside a dedicated Asian grocery. The Lao Gan Ma Spicy Chili Crisp was the first and is the most common imported brand, but with the condiment’s surging popularity, I’ve started noticing others at specialty groceries and large supermarkets.

Even better than buying it at the store? Making it yourself at home. You can use dried chile peppers from the store, or dry your own. My mom and dad grow a huge garden each year. As the season progresses, the abundant chile peppers start to get dried and crushed for storage instead of eaten fresh. For this recipe, we blend three varieties of crushed dried peppers, but feel free to experiment with as few or as many varieties as you like to customize the flavor. I like to add 1 teaspoon of Accent flavor enhancer to really make the flavor pop, but you can omit that if you prefer to avoid MSG.

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Use crushed chile peppers from the supermarket or dehydrate fresh peppers and crush them to make your own.

For the crunch, I use crushed peanuts. In case of a peanut allergy, you can substitute toasted and salted soybeans. The base of the crisps is oil, and I use vegetable or peanut.

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Use lightly crushed roasted peanuts or soybeans for the crunchy texture.

Slice the fresh garlic and serrano peppers. Remove the seeds and stems from the fresh pepper if you prefer less heat.

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Slice the garlic and fresh pepper.

Start by heating the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the fresh and dried chile peppers, dried onion, peanuts, sliced garlic, sesame seeds, star anise, and cinnamon stick.

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Add the ingredients to the hot oil.

Once the mixture starts to bubble and fry, reduce the heat to between low and medium. Cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fresh peppers and garlic are crispy. Remove from heat. Remove the star anise and cinnamon stick and discard those.

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After cooking, remove the star anise and cinnamon stick.

Transfer the crisp to a bowl and stir in the Accent, soy sauce, and honey to taste.

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Add honey, a bit at a time, to your preferred taste.

Stir to blend well, then cool.

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Stir to blend the ingredients.

Pour the mixture into a jar for storage of up to a month in the refrigerator. Use this stuff on everything. If you are like my family, it will quickly become a favorite.


¾ cup vegetable oil

2 fresh serrano peppers, sliced (remove seeds and ribs if you prefer less heat)

⅓ cup dried and crushed chile peppers (like a blend of cayenne, ancho, and jalapeño)

⅓ cup minced dried onion

⅓ cup crushed peanuts or roasted soybeans

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

2 star anise pods

1 cinnamon stick

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons honey (or to taste if you prefer sweeter)

1 teaspoon Accent flavor enhancer (optional)

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