Replacement for Lan Chi Chili Paste with Garlic? SF Bay Area

One of my favorite condiments, Lan Chi Chili Paste with Garlic, has been unavailable in my area (SF Bay) for some time and my supply is getting low. I’m hoping that someone can point me to a similar product that is available here so I don’t have to resort to mail order. Apparently I’m not alone:

From the torn label on my last remaining jar, I see that it’s made in Suzhao (near Shanghai), and its ingredients are chili, salt, soy bean oil, and garlic. Here’s the Chinese side of the label:


Any ideas?

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I saw it on Amazon


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Did you try… GOOGLE?

Yes, I did (that’s how I found the page that you referenced), but I’m asking a question that I really wouldn’t expect a web search to reveal the answer to. Maybe my request was unclear - let me try again.

In my local Asian markets I can find dozens of brands of Chinese chili-garlic pastes, but not the once-ubiquitous brand that I like. I’ve tried a couple of the available ones, but they don’t taste much like the one I want. I’m hoping that there’s someone here who is familiar with both my favorite brand and the brands that are now available here in the SF Bay Area, and that that person can recommend a similar one for me to try. I specifically wanted to avoid mail ordering my old brand, which is apparently no longer in production.

I used to have that as well
Try Lao Gan Ma’s product esp her chili crisp
You will not be disappointed. I hoard them!
I bought 3 , gave away 1, just returned from store, bought 3 more.
People who come to eat in my kitchen get addicted to ti
Here is an article from Serious Eats but do not try and make it yourself!
Also another article from NY* Times

Huge fan of Spicy Chili Crisp!

From this discussion:

There used to be a Lan Chi barbecue sauce.
It comes in a smaller jar than the chili paste with garlic, narrower.
It is unlike American barbecue sauce that is tomato based
I think it has garlic, chili, etc but it is particularly good when one use it for chicken gizzard. I used to brown the gizzard with peanut oil garlic, ginger and caramelized onion, then add water , bring to a boil, add a bottle of the barbecue sauce , simmer till tender and chewy. That was a while ago before 1992 where there were a lot of Filipnos at my work. They8 would eat that dish with beer and beg me to make some more when there was a party . I used to buy that from Maxim in Rockville, Md. Maxim has closed , opened reopened as Meixim but closed again.
If. you like gizzard and beer, that is a fantastic dish!

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@petolino this doesn’t help you location-wise, but maybe it will give you some comfort that they haven’t gone out of business - I picked up your chili paste in Chinatown nyc. I imagine a few bottles would fit into a a fixed-rate USPS parcel… :roll_eyes:

It was not by the massive display of LKK and Laoganma pastes, but in another aisle near the non-chinese (korean, japanese) condiments. I would have missed it if I hadn’t specifically been looking for it.

Having tasted it, it seems halfway between the ubiquitous chili garlic pastes and this broad bean chili paste - I recall seeing a broad bean garlic chili paste too when I picked up this one, it might be closer.



Also found this sesame paste by Lan Chi - labeled Salad dressing.


I love Laoganma chili crisp, but it tastes totally different. They also have a new(?) mushroom chili oil that’s amazing… not that spicy, so there’s real risk of eating through a bottle in a few sittings by pretending it’s a vegetable :joy:


It’s not brand new anyway (I’ve seen in it for a few years now), but I only see the Laoganma chili with mushroom in a few of the places I see their more popular products (and even then it comes and goes). But it is good, isn’t it?

@petolino: Have you asked someone about it at stores where you’d previously bought the Lan Chi chili paste? Do they still carry other Lan Chi products? Not being tuned into the ways of Chinese grocery distribution (and not speaking a word of Chinese), I’ve never known exactly what goes on, but over many years, I have noticed that distribution sometimes comes and goes in waves. I.e., suddenly previously unavailable products become available everywhere for a while, then they vanish, then reappear, not always in the same places or in the same profusion. (That happened when the Dan Dan brand broadbean chili paste/doubanjiang Saregama linked first started showing up here, for example.)

But Lan Chi is very well established, long-standing brand with wide distribution here in the US, so it seems a little odd that it would suddenly disappear unless there’s some sort of probably-temporary problem somewhere in the supply chain…

Whaaaaat?! Well hey, new to me then :wink:

I only just found it - and even then it’s only in ONE of the three larger stores I usually shop at - for eg, the place that had Lan Chi today didn’t have it (yes, I was looking, because yes, I may have finished half the first bottle in a week… :roll_eyes:)

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Thank you!

MikeG- I haven’t seen Lan Chi at all for several years, despite frequent visits to 99 Ranch and Marina Market. The article that I referenced in my original post gives a similar lament (written about a year ago, apparently by someone in upstate NY). But Saregama did find some in NYC recently, so maybe their distribution is limited.

Anyway, thanks to all who took the time to reply. I’ll try some broad bean paste.

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@petolino if you have friends in nyc I wasn’t completely joking about several bottles fitting in a fixed-rate usps box :slight_smile:

It’s one of those things I know not to expect to be able to find when I want it, so like a few other things that seem to come and go, I keep an eye out for it whenever I go Chinese grocery shopping, and make sure to grab my “next” jar when I find it rather than hoping to be able to find it when I “need” it…

I don’t recall where I first came across it - I want to say it was out here in Brooklyn, on Avenue U between Coney Island and Ocean Aves, but I might be making that up.:grin: I do definitely remember striking out at the NY Mart in Manhattan, but that was quite a while ago now…

is that a NY Mart shelf tag I see in the photo of the Lan Chi products? I noticed the same two products in the NY Mart in my Brooklyn neighborhood earlier this evening, but only those two products. Admittedly I couldn’t tell when the last time I actively looked for/at a “Lan Chi section”, but I’m fairly sure there used to be a number of them. Not quite as extensive as Koon Chun’s product line iirc (much less Lee Kum Kee’s), but certainly more than just two sauces. Very curious…

No, ny mart didn’t have it (or I didn’t look in all the non-obvious sections). This was at another market further east past the bridge.

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@MikeG and @Saregama, this may be outside of your region, but Marina Foods in Cupertino CA was having a special on Laoganma sauces when I stopped by today:IMG_3961

The mushroom condiment is a few weeks from its expiration date, if that matters.

Randomly found this page while trying to find more places where I can find my beloved Lan Chi paste. Created an account just so I can reply for posterity for others that might be looking for this paste as well. Here is a place that sells them and ships online:

Flat rate shipping might be on the pricier side but just buy more of these to make up for it. My family loves this paste and goes through them like nothing so I buy several jars to justify shipping. Much cheaper than the Amazon recommendations in my opinion. I have ordered twice from them already and they are legit. Physical store located in Naples, FL and they shipped to my location in SoCal within a week’s time.

Hope everybody that sees this post finds it useful. Happy new year!