Chili Crisp Is The Secret Ingredient For A More Flavorful Bowl Of Ramen

Chopsticks taking noodles out of a heaping bowl of ramen noodles with meat, corn, green onions, and a hard boiled egg
Chopsticks taking noodles out of a heaping bowl of ramen noodles with meat, corn, green onions, and a hard boiled egg - sasazawa/Shutterstock

From restaurant-quality varieties to slurpable, store-bought instant cups, ramen is a crave-worthy dish anyone can enjoy. Thanks to their hearty, umami-packed flavor and satiating quality, ramen makes for a perfect lunch or dinner. But sometimes, ramen bowls lack the flavorful energy they need to be great. Enter chili crisp -- the delicious secret ingredient that will take any boring ramen dish to spicy new heights.

Chili crisp is a simple combination of chili peppers and dried herbs infused in oil –- really, it's that simple! It adds a spicy essence to umami-forward ramen bowls that lack fire, elevating its flavor profile and making it a more excitable dish. Chili crisp is often made with dried garlic, onion, and ginger, giving your ramen an aromatic twist that rouses the senses with each and every bite. The joys of chili crisp don't stop at its flavorful punch. Adding this pungent ingredient to your ramen also adds texture to its creamy, velvety mouthfeel by introducing a pleasantly grainy texture to its salty moisture.

The best part about chili crisp is that it's widely available at grocery stores, and if you're looking to make a fun DIY ingredient to add to your spice and aromatics repertoire, it's easy to make from scratch too.

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Making And Customizing Chili Crisp

Spoon full of chili crisp dipped out of jar
Spoon full of chili crisp dipped out of jar - Vm2002/Getty Images

Chili crisp is a must-have ingredient in your pantry, and while you can purchase it at your local supermarket, making it is a joyous experience. But if you don't know where to start -- we've got you covered.

To make chili crisp, you'll need dried chili flakes or Sichuan peppercorns, garlic, ginger, paprika, sesame seeds, and a fresh shallot. Sautee your minced shallots in oil while toasting sesame seeds, then combine the hot, oil-laden ingredients with fresh ingredients into a bowl -- et voilà -- chili crisp is born! But don't just stick to the basics. Feel free to add aromatics, spices, and vegetables like green onion, citrus zest, peanuts, and soy sauce to jazz up your favorite ramen noodle recipe.

For restaurant-bought ramen noodles, you can add chili crisp directly to the dish. For a homemade batch, top your DIY ramen with chili crisp, or add it to the mix while cooking the broth for a more emulsified finish. If you like an egg in your ramen, cook the chili crisp into a fried egg for a more nuanced crunch.

Whichever way you choose to add chili crunch to your ramen -- there's no wrong way to enjoy this crispy, spicy pantry staple.

Read the original article on Mashed.