Chili Crisp

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This homemade Chili Crisp is so easy to make! It’s spicy, garlicky, and great with meat, eggs, or vegetables.

Overhead of a jar of chili crisp with a spoon inside.

Chili crisp or chile crisp is a spicy condiment originating from Chinese cuisine. It’s made with dried chili peppers, fried garlic, and onion with aromatic spices. The most popular store-bought brand is Lao Gan Ma.

We wanted to make a homemade version to add to our collection of Asian sauces and we found that it’s surprisingly easy to make!

You need about 20 minutes to slowly fry the garlic and shallots. Then everything is combined and left to cool. It’s effortless.

If you are a fan of Asian-inspired condiments, you may also enjoy our easy gochujang sauce and sweet chili sauce.

What You Need

To make this easy crispy chili oil, you’ll need…

Ingredients to make homemade chili crisp.


  • Vegetable oil: This is the main component of chili crisp. You can use canola or peanut oil too.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes: While a lot of recipes call for dried whole peppers to be ground, we chose to use already crushed flakes. They are easily more accessible.
  • Shallot & garlic: These get fried in the oil so be sure to slice them as thin as possible for faster frying.
  • Spices: Whole star anise and cardamom are infused in the hot oil while the shallots and garlic fry.
  • Ginger: For a fresh gingery kick. We prefer to grate the ginger on a microplane zester but you can also finely mince it.
  • Sugar, salt, and pepper.

Recommended Tools

  • We recommend using a heavy-bottom saucepan for frying. This will help regulate the heat.
  • A mandoline works best for slicing the shallots and garlic into even pieces.

How to Make Spicy Chili Crisp

The key to this recipe is to use gentle heat while allowing the shallots and onion to fry slowly. This slow process infuses the oil with the flavors and ensures they are light and crispy without burning.

Be sure to check out the full recipe and ingredient list below

  1. Place the shallots, garlic, star anise, and cardamom in a medium saucepan with oil. Place over medium-low heat and cook gently for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to separate the shallots into individual rings.
  2. Add the red pepper flakes, ginger, sugar, salt, and pepper to a medium heat-proof bowl and set a metal fine-mesh sieve over the top.
  3. Once garlic and shallots are lightly browned and crisp, pour the hot oil with its components into the sieve. Allow the garlic and shallots to cool then add them to the chili crisp and discard the star anise and cardamom.
  4. Once the mixture is completely cool, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • Red pepper flakes: You don’t have to use the premixed red pepper flakes. Feel free to experiment with your own blend. Dried pepper flakes can be found in Asian markets and Mexican grocery stores.
  • MSG: This is a very popular flavor enhancer used in Chinese cooking. Feel free to add a teaspoon to the dry ingredients for additional umami and flavor.
Spooning chili crisp from a jar.

Chili Crisp

5 from 1 vote
Overhead of a jar of chili crisp with a spoon inside.
This homemade Chili Crisp is so easy to make! It’s spicy, garlicky, and great with meat, eggs, or vegetables.
Sauce Fanatic
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Serving Size 32


  • 2 cups thinly sliced shallots
  • ¾ cup thinly sliced garlic
  • 3 pieces whole star anise
  • 2 black cardamom pods
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable oil, or any other neutral oil
  • 1 cup crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 inch piece fresh ginger, finely minced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Add the shallots, garlic, star anise, cardamom, and oil to a medium sauce pan and heat over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until the garlic and shallots are lightly brown and crisp, about 15-20 minutes.
  • In a medium heatproof bowl, add the red pepper flakes, ginger, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Set a fine mesh sieve over the bowl and strain the oil into the bowl with the red pepper mixture.
  • Allow the garlic and shallot to cool in the sieve then add them to the chili mixture. Discard the star anise and cardamom pods.
  • Cool completely then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.


  • Slicing shallot and garlic: Use a mandoline for easier slicing and uniform pieces.
  • You can use the chili crisp right away, but the flavors develop and intensify if you let it sit for a day or two.
  • Storage: Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 month. 
Makes about 1 quart.


Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 26kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.4g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 185mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 669IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients and brands you used in the recipe.


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