Chilli Crisp

This all-purpose chilli crisp may be the best condiment you’ll ever make! It combines chillies with crispy fried shallots, garlic and ginger, as well as star anise and cinnamon for extra flavour. It’s great on just about everything – eggs, meats, roasted vegetables, soups, you name it. It’s so good you may even be tempted to eat it straight out of the jar! Be warned, it is incredibly addictive.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup (approx.) 1x
  • Category: Dips and Condiments


  • 2 tbsps crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, for an extra-spicy chilli crisp)
  • 2-inch cinnamon stick
  • ½ whole star anise
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger root, peeled and very finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 250 ml vegetable oil (or any neutral oil)
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 head of garlic, separated into cloves, thinly sliced


  1. Place the crushed red pepper flakes, cinnamon stick, star anise, ginger, soy sauce and sugar in a medium heatproof bowl. Place a fine-mesh sieve over the bowl.
  2. Combine the vegetable oil, shallot and garlic in a small saucepan. Heat the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
  3. Reduce the heat to low/medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots and garlic are deeply golden (but not burnt!). Don’t be tempted to turn the heat up to high to speed up the process. Extracting the moisture from the shallots and garlic, which is key to crisping them up, takes time – anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes.  If the shallots and garlic aren’t deeply golden brown after 20 minutes, turn the heat up to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!
  4. Strain the shallot-garlic-oil mixture into the heatproof bowl with the chilli mixture and stir to combine. Though the shallots and garlic are now browned, they are still a little limp. You need to let the them cool in the sieve to fully crisp up.
  5. Once cooled, stir the shallots and garlic into the chilli oil.
  6. Once the chilli crisp is fully cooled, remove the cinnamon stick and star anise. Transfer to a jar and store in the fridge for up to a month. Stir well before serving.
  7. You can use it as soon as it cools down, but it’s even better the day after once the flavours have had a chance to develop and meld together.


If you increase the amount of chilli crisp you’re making, you’ll also need to increase the amount of time you spent cooking the garlic and shallots.