For the uninitiated, chili crisp (aka “Godmother Sauce” or Lao Gan Ma, the iconic Chinese brand whose name has become synonymous with the stuff) is a much talked-about condiment that devotees claim can make anything better. And they’re not wrong. It’s a rich, spicy, salty, and—yes—crispy sauce that is often paired with things such as noodles, dumplings, rice, and stir-fried greens, but it has even crossed over into dessert territory. Chili crisp sundae, anyone? I’m ready with my ice cream scoop.
But if you’re not quite as eager as I am to jump on the savory-sweet flavor train, there’s plenty more to explore with this sauce, such as incorporating it into your weeknight dinner repertoire.
Chili crisp adds layers of flavor and texture, so you can whip up something simple, toss in some chili crisp, and you’ll feel like a true genius. (A bite of plain white rice with the crunchy spiciness of chili crisp on top? Heaven.)
Hacking weeknight dinner this way can be a godsend on a busy night, and it was with this spirit that we developed recipes for our upcoming Five-Ingredient Dinners cookbook.