There’s just enough oil to slick all the crispy bits of chile, onion and sesame in this version of the spicy Chinese condiment, so it delivers as much crunch as it does salty, sweet, nutty heat. Dried minced onion from the supermarket spice aisle is a shortcut for the usual step of frying fresh minced onion, and it improves the crispness, too. You can experiment by mixing the hot and fruity flavors of different dried chile varieties, crushing them into flaky bits, or stick with ready-to-add red-pepper flakes. No matter what you use, this blend adds a little excitement to everything.
- Serves: 1 person
- ½cup vegetable oil
- ¼cup dried minced onion
- 1teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 ½teaspoons kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
- ⅓cup finely crushed dried small red chiles or red-pepper flakes
- 3tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1teaspoon coarsely ground Sichuan peppercorns (optional)
Step 1Combine the oil, onion, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion becomes evenly golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
Step 2Add the chiles, sesame seeds and Sichuan peppercorns, if using, and sizzle, stirring, for 1 minute, then stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Spoon over everything. It adds big flavor to milder bases, such as eggs, tofu, noodles, rice, vegetables, white fish, lean pork and chicken breast.