Chipotle Chilli Crunch
This smoky, zingy chipotle chilli crunch is unlike any chilli crisp I’ve had. It’s inspired by Mexican salsa macha, which is made from dried chillies, garlic, nuts and seeds. For the crunchy element, I’ve used peanuts, which get fried with garlic until golden and crisp. Chilli wise, I’ve used chipotle for smaokiness and red chilli flakes for heat. The addition of lime adds some much needed zing and freshness, creating balanced, deeply flavourful chilli crisp. It’s delicious on just about anything (eggs, tacos, rice, you name it), but I especially love it drizzled over roasted vegetables, chicken and fish.
- 100g chopped peanuts (see Notes)
- 350ml vegetable or sunflower oil
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp chipotle chilli flakes
- 2 tbsp crushed red chilli flakes
- 2 limes, zest only
- 1 lime, juice, or more to taste
- 1 tsp sugar
- Place a sieve over a heatproof bowl.
- Place the peanuts and vegetable oil in a small saucepan set over a medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the peanuts are lightly golden, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, then transfer to the sieve to drain. Season the garlicky peanuts with a generous pinch of salt and pepper, mix to combine and leave to cool in the sieve.
- Pour 300ml of the vegetable oil back into the same saucepan from earlier. Alternatively, you can use fresh vegetable oil.
- Add the chipotle chilli flakes, crushed red chilli flakes and lime zest and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Set the saucepan over a medium and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, cook for 1 minute then remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the lime juice and sugar, stir to combine and leave to cool for 30 minutes before stirring in the garlicky peanuts.
- At this point, you can transfer the chilli crunch to a jar. Alternatively, you can pour it into a food processor and blitz it to a finer texture. Both will keep in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Tip: use shop-bought chopped peanuts rather than chopping and/or processing them yourself – they are more evenly chopped, which means they will cook more evenly.