Friday, April 15, 2022

At the Table

Do you know Chili Crisp? I did not, obviously behind the times, as according to Molly and Matthew in their recent Spilled Milk podcast, chili crisp really became a trend in 2020. Other than just reading about it, my 'formal' introduction was in the form of a newsletter from DeLaurenti Italian market. I was placing an online order, and took the opportunity to add a jar of locally made KariKari to my cart.

I tried the chili crisp - ever so sparingly - on a hard-cooked egg, and it was pretty darn spicy. I loved the crunch though, definitely. As I continued to research, I learned that the standard, as far as chili crisp goes, is Laoganma, widely acclaimed as the original version. So next time I was at the grocery store, I picked up a jar to compare to the KariKari. I had heard that the Laoganma chili crisp wasn't as spicy, and it did have it's own unique flavor. But for me, it was definitely still pretty 'hot.'

According to Better Homes & Gardens, "The condiment is so hot—literally and figuratively—that chili crisp has a cult-like following at this point. That's likely because it's incredibly versatile and is not just burn-your-face-off hot; it's complex and layered with spicy, umami, and tangy flavors."

I'm kind of disappointed that I probably won't be hopping on this trend. I was - and am - really intrigued by it all, and know there are A LOT of versions available, and many recipes to make your own. But so far, it's a little spicy for my taste. 

Here's a little more reading in case you're interested:

So are you a fan? Just hearing about it like me? Share with us in the comments!


  1. hmm I've never heard of it. I'm not much for spicy so won't be trying it, but good for you! you're more courageous with food than I am

  2. I guess I'm really behind the times (or too focused on quiltmaking!) because I haven't heard of Chili Crisp. But given your tasting description, it's likely I won't be on-board with this trend. I don't like anything spicy-hot, and sometimes even hub's curry can be a bit much. I keep trying to like spicy and go a little hotter, but the older I get, the more sensitive I seem to be. Thanks for the information though!

  3. I haven't heard of it either, although I do add pepper to a lot of things I cook.

  4. I hadn't heard of Chili Crisp until Matthew and Molly enlightened me, either! I do like spicy food, so I'll probably get some if I see it, but I don't think I'll find the KariKari one in Vancouver ...