The Story of Momofuku Chili Crunch
Ever since the early days of Momofuku, we’ve been working on a chili oil that has heat, texture, umami, and a proper balance of flavor. The result is Momofuku Chili Crunch. The story of how we got here is a journey that takes us from America, to China, to Mexico (with a quick stop in Denmark).
To listen to the story, check out this podcast with Dave, Chris Ying, and Eddie Huang on the Dave Chang Show.
As a kid, Dave’s favorite hot sauces were the vinegary, oily Chinese chili sauces from restaurants like Wu’s Garden and Peking Gourmet Inn near his hometown in Virginia. Later, after moving to New York, he began eating a lot of Lao Gan Ma chili crisp, the Chinese condiment beloved by knowledgeable cooks around the world. When Momofuku first began serving roast ducks at Ssäm Bar, chili crisp was one of the OG condiments.
A few years ago, while cooking at an event in Copenhagen, Dave improvised another crunchy chili oil using a variety of smoky, sweet, dried chilies. Chef Rosio Sanchez, who provided the chilies, said it reminded her a bit of salsa macha—a thick, oily salsa she loves to spoon on everything from tacos to rice bowls. Speaking of tacos, we first tried salsa seca, a lesser-known but no less delicious “dry salsa,” at Eastside Tacos in LA, and, in fact, led us to create a dish of butterball potatoes with crispy dried garlic, shallots, and sesame seeds at Majordōmo.
With Momofuku Chili Crunch, we’re proud to join this incredible tradition of crunchy-spicy sauces from around the world. We spent years tinkering and experimenting in our kitchens in order to create a chili oil that reflects all of our various inspirations and speaks to our specific tastes. Ours uses the same umami base as Momofuku Seasoned Salts, plus a lot of the flavors and textures we love: crispy shallots, sesame seeds, dried garlic, and coconut sugar for a hint of sweetness.
We ❤️ MSG but this product only contains ingredients that are naturally high in glutamic acid.