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Chili Crisp Oil

Although I originally started making this long before it became trendy, way back in 2015 because I needed it for Dan Dan Noodles, I have found many uses for this spicy condiment since. This stuff is like crack. I find the spicy floral notes of Szechuan peppercorns near irresistible. Though this oil's addition to any dish with either pork or tomatoes is a winner, my absolute favorite use for it is with sunny side up eggs (with good French bread dipped into it a close second.)

To make the eggs, I get a skillet very, very hot and add a bit of the chili oil. I then immediately break in 2 eggs. Because the pan is so hot, the egg whites will immediately get all lacy and crisp, the yolk can then be cooked to perfection so that it squidges out when cut into and can be sopped up with toast, the oil adds both sweetness and a hint of spice. Yum.

The recipe below is a hodge-podge of the many chili oil recipes that I read online and adapted for my use and preferences. There seem to be infinite variations and each family's recipe seems to be just slightly different. This is the adaptation that eventually made the most sense to me and the one which is on repeat in my recipe rotation.

4 Tbps crushed pepper flakes

2 tsps Chinese five spice powder

1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns, crushed with the blade of a knife

2 whole star anise

2 stalks chopped green onion

1 tsp ground bay leaf or 2 bay leaves

1 cup vegetable oil

1 knob of ginger the size of a thumb, grated. I didn't bother to peel it.

Put the oil and the ginger in a small saucepan over low heat. Heat the oil until it is very hot and the ginger is happily and fragrantly crackling away, a couple of minutes.

Measure all of the spices and the green onion into a dish that can handle heat and will not shatter into a thousand pieces when you add hot oil to it.

Pour the ginger oil over the spices, stir well and then allow to cool. Your house will smell wonderful during this process.

I keep my chili crisp oil in a glass jar in the fridge and use it in anything I can think of, often.


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