Make this staple to keep on hand in your kitchen for homemade Asian recipes, especially if you enjoy adding it to your favorite dishes in the restaurant! It’s healthy, super cheap to make yourself and PACKED with flavor. This is a great condiment to have on hand!
Dan and I found ourselves sitting across the table from one another a few nights ago at one of our favorite restaurants. Alone. Without children. It was surreal and delightful. We have not been on an official date in months. As we took turns reaching for the chili paste that sat atop our table, we began to wonder out loud about why we had never made chili paste of our own. At restaurants, we devour it like the apocalypse is tomorrow, so imagine what it must be like to have it in our very own kitchen!
So we formulated a recipe and gave it a whirl. It is deLICIOUS. I cannot wait to throw it into some scrambled eggs tomorrow morning!
If you are a spice freak like I am, then you will not be disappointed in this chili paste. Go to your local grocery store and go crazy picking out the prettiest hot peppers you can find. The peppers I have in my ingredient list are merely suggestions. Cater them to your spicy desires!
HOW TO MAKE CHILI PASTE AT HOME
These are just suggestions, but here are the peppers I started with:
2 Serrano chili peppers
3 red chili peppers
1 Thai chili pepper
1 Habanero chili pepper
The above peppers are typically easy to find in most larger grocery stores, but if you encounter difficulty find them, replace with other peppers or check out an Asian foods store!
Remove the stems (keep the seeds!) and cut the peppers into chunks. Add the following to the bowl of a food processor:
The pepper chunks
2 shallots, cut into chunks
3 cloves garlic, cut in half
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Juice from 1 lime
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Splash or two of Worcestershire sauce
Pulse until a chunky paste forms. Transfer the paste to a small skillet or saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Let simmer for 7 minutes, or until the aroma of garlic is noticeable.
Remove from the heat and let cool. Store covered in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
This recipe makes about 1 cup, which will last you a while unless you are my husband who immediately started eating it as if it WERE SALSA. I know it's good, but please leave some for me!
CHILI PASTE SUBSTITUTES
If you do not have the 15 minutes or the ingredients it takes to make this delicious chili paste, here are some decent substitutions that will add heat and flavor in a pinch:
Your favorite brand of hot sauce
Add red pepper flakes, chili powder and/or cayenne pepper to a can of tomato paste
Red pepper paste (1 Tbsp sugar + 1 tsp soy sauce + 2 tsp red pepper flakes)
WHAT IS CALABRIAN CHILI PASTE?
Calabrian chili paste is made from calabrian chiles which originate in Calabria, Italy. These peppers are vine-ripened and are deep red in color. They are often infused into oils, pastes and vinegars and are extremely flavorful.
USES FOR CHILI PASTE
Aside from being used as an ingredient in Asian recipes, there are so many other things chili paste tastes great with! Here are a few options:
Add it to your next bowl of rice or pasta!
Use it as a spread on your next sandwich or wrap.
Stir a few teaspoons into your next batch of burgers or brush it over chicken breasts before baking.
Add a bit to your next batch of chili for an added kick!
Stir a teaspoon or two into sour cream and dip veggies in it.
Scramble it into your morning eggs!
Add it to your Ramen noodle bowl.