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6 Chili Oils that Work for Any Dish



E-commerce is propping up a lot of restaurants in these tough times, and New York chefs are increasingly experimenting with Chinese-style chile oils. Some of them are after its crunchy texture and want to tap into the roaring success of Lao Gan Ma Spicy Chili Crisp made in Guizhou Province. 

Here are some chile oils that will work with nearly anything. 

Mili Chili Crisp

Milu Chili Crisp (5.3-oz. jar)

Chef Connie Chung was fairly new to the chili-crisp fad before she started working at a Chinese fast-casual restaurant’s retail pantry. She created her own internal version of the chili-crisp, one that was still spicy, but had a more savory feel. What makes her creations stand out is the fermented black beans that add a unique salty flavor and the dried-shiitake-mushroom powder which gives it a distinct umami feel. 

Momofuku Chili Crunch

Momofuku Chili Crunch (5.3-oz. jar)

Culinary lab owner David Chang has created many of his own packaged goods, ranging from ssäm sauce to chickpea miso. Chang has now created his own product called Chili Crunch which borrows from Mexican condiment salsa macha as well as Lao Gan Ma. 

The extra crunchy sauce is topped by an oily layer much like what you would find in a peanut butter. Chili Crunch also has garlic, coconut sugar, shallots, seaweed, and yeast extracts as well as Chili. It does not contain MSG though. 

Sze Daddy Chili OIl

Sze Daddy Chili Oil (6-oz. jar)

According to Eric Sze, his Sze Daddy Chili Oil is a vegan version of the iconic XO sauce. The inspiration for Sze Daddy Chili Oil is Taiwanese sha-cha; a derivative of sate from South East Asia.

Sze Daddy is hot and comes in a plush texture that differs from the current trend of crunchy textures. Chang achieves this smooth texture by not frying his alliums crispy. Sze uses his Chili oil in sauces in place of butter and olive oil. He also adds it to spaghetti agio e olio. 

Black Label Junzi Chili Oil

Black Label Junzi Chili Oil (110-ml. jar)

Chile-oil veteran Chef Lucas Sin first created a spicy version of his chile oil oil with vinegar two years ago. 

Now he’s created a more aromatic version that he believes will bring more diversity to chile-oils. This limited edition comes in gift-boxes and tastes a lot milder. It also has a less chunky texture. The ingredients in Sin’s Black Label Junzi Chili Oil are Urfa Chiles, black-sesame seed oil, and charred onions. To get the sesame oil flavor to really sing, put it in a hot soup. 

Mr. Bing Chili Crisp

Mr. Bing Chili Crisp (7-oz. jar)

The story of Mr. Bing is similar to that of Tao Huabi who founded Lao Gan Ma. Huabi started by slinging noodles before creating her own chile oil. 

Bing and partner Brian Colberg were selling Jianbing, a Beijing-style stuffed crepe. They found that people were more interested in the chile sauce that accompanied the stuffed crepes and after being forced to close down his restaurants, Goldberg chose to focus on Chili Crisp, among other condiments. 

Mr. Bing Chili Crisp has a thick texture and tastes slightly sweet. 

Sichuan Oil from Blank Slate Kitchen 

Blank Slate Kitchen’s Sichuan Chili Oil (8-oz. jar)

Alex Sorenson was a professional New York cook when he started selling his own Chile Oil. Sorenson is now works full time on his condiment brand. He flavors the chile oil with chile flakes, ginger, Sichuan peppercorns, black cardamom, and star anise. 

Sorenson was lunching on a Singaporean dish called mouthwatering chicken when he was inspired to create his Sichuan Chile oil. 

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