Lao Gan Ma - Crispy Chilli in Oil

I bought that for the first time out of desperation during the depths of the pandemic and there was a LGM chili crisp shortage at HMart. It has become a staple now at chez digga.

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I’ve got the SB crunchy garlic but haven’t opened it yet.

My favorite is LGM with mushroom, but I have to stop buying it because it goes bad even in the fridge (fungus blooms on top of the oil, go figure).

Meanwhile, all the other LGMs are in the cabinet, not refrigerated, and fine.

Have you tried the TJ’s chilli oil? It’s not asian, but it’s delicious. Lots of crunchy stuff. I use it when I don’t want MSG or Sichuan peppercorn or some other flavor mixed in.

Also excellent and multi-purpose is their fermented Calabrian chile sauce (which I stockpile because I couldn’t find it ONCE).

What I would really love to find is a home version of Ippudo’s “secret” chilli paste.

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I’m late to this party.

@digga how do you use it most?
Noticed @biondanonima mentioned adding it to scrambled eggs. I’ll try it on my fried egg sandwich this morning.

I also love it on tofu (grilled or fried) and shirataki noodles. It’s great on plain grilled/roasted meats, too, especially lean things like chicken breast or pork tenderloin.

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I make the NYT version at home on a regular basis. Having read through all the posts here just now, I’m curious about (and a fan of) MSG. When would you add it - before heating or after?

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“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”.

Yes! I feel vindicated!

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Yes, dried onions work great here. Just be careful and watch closely. The first time I made it I learned the dried onions can go from “crisp” to “burnt to a crisp” in the blink of an eye.

I’ve also learned that if you make a batch, and figure out only later you pulled it off a few seconds to soon and it’s not quite as crisp as you would like it, you can reheat the finished product, even with the sugar in it. A few seconds of additional simmering will crisp the whole mixture right up.

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This is going to sound weird, and it’s probably because it is weird, but Lao Gan Ma is great as a topping on plain Greek yogurt.

image

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I love savory yogurt so this sounds awesome to me. Tapenade and chopped walnuts on plain Greek yogurt is one of my faves.

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/food/2022/09/20/gnocchi-chili-crisp-caper-recipe/

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I must try this, hadn’t occurred to me before!

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The Fly by is our fave of all. Deep, luscious, and tangy.

We just opened our second jar last night!

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Whoa. I wonder how that would be with potato pierogi…

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First tried this one about a week ago. Costco is selling 2 packs. Fly by Jing I think you meant to write. While I’m not the greatest fan of grandma, finding it to taste a big musty, I found Fly to be a lot of chili oil and very little crisp. At the same time, we cracked open one called Mr. Bing that we found at the grocery. I think grandma has them both beat for flavor and texture.

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A lot of the “crisp” sinks to the bottom. I find I need to stir it before I use it. But I only have the black bean flavor of LGM to compare it to, commercially (so, a lot of black beans bound by some chile oil). FBJ seems a similar oil to stuff ratio as when I make my own.

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Interesting. I’d say my jar of Fly is 1/3 oil, at least, whereas grandma might be closer to half of that. Even when stirred. The oil rises to the top of both.

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FWIW, I love eating this with white rice. Can’t be healthy but its delicious. Other easy favorite is boiling up some fresh noodles (I like ramen) stir in Lao Gan Ma and top with a fried egg over easy.

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Yup, i abbreviated it. Not as crispy but to my mind it’s got a deep flavor…

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