20 Minute Homemade Chili Crisp: A Flavor-Packed Condiment

Introduction to Chili Crisp vs. Chili Oil

Chili crisp and chili oil are two condiments that have taken the culinary world by storm, each bringing its unique texture and flavor to dishes. While they both originate from the love of chili, they serve different purposes in enhancing your meals. Chili crisp, with its crunchy texture, and chili oil, known for its smooth consistency, add not just heat but depth to a variety of recipes. Let’s dive into understanding the differences and uses of these flavorful additions to your pantry.

Choosing the Right Chili Flakes for Your Chili Crisp

Choosing the right chili flakes for your chili crisp is an important step in creating a dish that’s both flavorful and has the right amount of heat. There are many types of chili flakes available, but for a chili crisp that really stands out, focusing on high-quality options like Chinese red chili flakes or Gochugaru can make a big difference.

Chinese red chili flakes are known for their vibrant color and moderate heat level, making them a popular choice for those who want to add both spice and a visually appealing red hue to their chili crisp. These flakes are made from crushed dried chili peppers and can vary in spiciness, so it’s a good idea to taste-test them before adding them to your dish.

Gochugaru, on the other hand, is a type of Korean chili powder that’s traditionally used in Korean cuisine. It’s made from sun-dried chili peppers that are then deseeded and crushed. Gochugaru has a distinct flavor that’s smoky, sweet, and somewhat spicy. It’s an excellent choice for chili crisp because it adds a unique depth of flavor that you won’t get from other chili flakes.

When choosing chili flakes for your chili crisp, consider the flavor profile and heat level you’re aiming for. Both Chinese red chili flakes and Gochugaru offer something special to the dish, but they have different characteristics. You might even consider using a blend of both to create a more complex flavor.

Remember to look for high-quality chilli flakes, regardless of the type you choose. The quality of the chilli flakes can greatly affect the overall taste of your chilli crisp. A high-quality image of different chilli flakes can help you identify the various types available and make a more informed decision.

The Role of MSG in Enhancing Flavors

MSG, short for monosodium glutamate, plays a significant role as a flavor enhancer in various cuisines around the world. This food additive is popular for its ability to boost the savory tastes in dishes, making flavors more pronounced and appealing. MSG works by stimulating the taste receptors in our mouth, particularly those responsible for detecting umami, which is often referred to as the fifth taste alongside sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Umami is a Japanese term that translates to “pleasant savory taste” and is a key component in making food taste delicious. By adding MSG to foods, chefs and home cooks alike can enhance the overall flavor profile of their dishes without altering the original taste. This makes MSG a valuable ingredient in the culinary world, as it helps in bringing out the best in meals, making them more enjoyable to eat.

Preparing Aromatic Oils and Toasted Sesame Seeds

When you want to add a rich, nutty flavor to your dishes, preparing aromatic oil and toasted sesame seeds is a fantastic way to do it. Both sesame seeds and aromatic oil can transform a simple meal into something special. Here’s how you can make them at home easily.

Making Aromatic Oil

Aromatic oil is made by infusing oil with the flavors of herbs, spices, or other plant-based aromatics. To make your own, you’ll need a base oil like olive or canola and your choice of aromatics. Common choices include garlic, rosemary, or chili flakes. Simply heat the oil gently with the aromatics in it, allowing their flavors to infuse the oil without burning them. Once the oil has a strong aroma, let it cool and strain out the solids. This aromatic oil is perfect for dressing salads, drizzling over pasta, or adding a flavor boost to soups.

Toasting Sesame Seeds

Toasted sesame seeds are incredibly easy to make and can add a wonderful crunch and flavor to many dishes. Start by spreading raw sesame seeds in a dry pan. Place the pan over medium heat and stir the seeds constantly to avoid burning. The seeds are done when they turn golden brown and release a delicious, nutty aroma. Once toasted, let them cool before using. Toasted sesame seeds are excellent for sprinkling over salads, stir-fries, or even just a bowl of rice to add a lovely texture and flavor boost.

By preparing aromatic oil and toasted sesame seeds, you can easily elevate your cooking with these simple yet flavorful additions. Whether used separately or together, they bring a delightful depth to any dish they accompany.

Importance of Quality Ingredients

When it comes to creating a delicious chili crisp, the quality of ingredients plays a pivotal role in determining its flavor impact. Here’s why choosing high-quality ingredients is essential:

  • Enhances Taste: Quality ingredients are fresher and often more flavorful. This means your chili crisp will have a more vibrant and intense taste, making it a delightful addition to any dish.
  • Improves Aroma: The aroma of your chili crisp is just as important as its taste. High-quality ingredients ensure a more aromatic and enticing scent, elevating the overall eating experience.
  • Longer Shelf Life: Ingredients of superior quality tend to last longer. This means your chili crisp can retain its best qualities over time, ensuring every spoonful is as good as the first.
  • Health Benefits: Choosing quality ingredients can also mean you’re selecting options that are less processed, with fewer additives and preservatives. This not only benefits the flavor but your health too.
  • Consistency in Cooking: High-quality ingredients behave more predictably when cooked, ensuring your chili crisp has a consistent texture and flavor every time you make it.

Step-by-Step Recipe for 20 Minute Chili Crisp


Dried chilies1 cupProvides heat and flavor
Sichuan peppercorns2 tablespoonsAdds a numbing sensation and aroma
Garlic cloves4 clovesGives depth of flavor and aroma
Ginger1-inch pieceAdds warmth and complexity
Vegetable oil1 cupActs as a base for frying and preserving
Soy sauce2 tablespoonsEnhances umami flavor and adds depth
Sesame oil1 tablespoonAdds richness and nuttiness
Sugar1 tablespoonBalances out the heat and enhances flavors
Salt1 teaspoonEnhances overall flavor and seasoning

Cooking Steps:

  1. Prepare Ingredients:
    • Remove the stems from the dried chilies and roughly chop them.
    • Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves.
    • Peel and grate the ginger.
  2. Heat Oil:
    • In a large skillet or wok, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking.
  3. Fry Aromatics:
    • Add the chopped garlic and grated ginger to the hot oil. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add Peppercorns and Chilies:
    • Add the Sichuan peppercorns and chopped dried chilies to the skillet. Stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes until the chilies are slightly darkened and fragrant.
  5. Seasoning:
    • Stir in the soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and salt. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the flavors are well combined.
  6. Cool and Store:
    • Remove the skillet from heat and let the chili crisp cool slightly.
    • Transfer the chili crisp to a clean, dry jar or container with a tight-fitting lid.
    • Allow it to cool completely before sealing the jar.
    • Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  7. Enjoy:
    • Use your homemade chili crisp as a condiment for noodles, rice, dumplings, or any dish that needs an extra kick of flavor and crunch!


In just 20 minutes, you’ve created a delicious homemade chili crisp that will spice up any meal. Experiment with different types of dried chilies and adjust the heat level to your liking. Enjoy your spicy creation and explore new culinary adventures with this versatile condiment.


What makes chili crisp different from chili oil? Chili crisp includes crunchy bits and spices, while chili oil is a smooth infusion of chili in oil.

Can I use regular chili flakes instead of Chinese or Korean chili flakes? Yes, but Chinese or Korean chili flakes give a more authentic flavor and texture to dishes.

Is MSG necessary for making chili crisp? No, MSG is not necessary but adds an umami flavor to chili crisp.

How do I store homemade chili crisp, and how long will it last? Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months for best quality.

What are the best dishes to enjoy with chili crisp? Chili crisp adds a spicy crunch to noodles, dumplings, and soups.