How To Make Crispy Fried Chili Chips? This is a bowl of crispy fried chilis and not much else. It’s a classic snack from Guizhou called xianglacui, because obviously, a province of chiliheads would find a way to munch on hot peppers like they’re potato chips.
But anyone that’s familiar with working with chilis could tell you that making something like a chili chip isn’t as straightforward
as it might seem.
See, dried chilis are naturally kind of hard and chewy, and on top of that, their pigments can degrade pretty fast in hot oil if you’re not careful. So this simple idea – a crispy chili chip – ends up taking a good bit of technique to pull off well.
So first, let’s talk chilis. In Guizhou, they’ll use a chili from Zunyi called “Zidantou” or bullet chili.
Now we don’t have any of those handy, and I’m 99% sure you don’t either so you can really use any type of dried chili you like as long as it’s fresh.
How To Make Crispy Fried Chili Chips?
See, when we were testing this, we first tried these the bog-standard sort of dried cayenne that’s sold at our local markets herein
Guangdong which’ve been stuffed in a bag for god knows how long.
They lost their color almost immediately after hitting the frying oil, and the flavor wasn’t too great either.
So we ended up using these – Guizhou chicken claw peppers, which kind of taste like a cross between cayenne and kashmiri.
They’re not traditional but they did work the best for us because they were the freshest chili we had.
So really, feel free to use Arbols, Cayennes, whatever’s convenient but for best results just use the sort that you might actually, like, know when they were harvested.
So then just grab 90 grams of your chili of choice and snip off the stems and tips.
Then cut that at a 30-degree angle or so to get one-inch pieces.
This’s cut at an angle so that the filling can more easily slide into the chili – more on that in just a second.
For this amount here snipping these can be a bit of a chore, so definitely enlist any available friends and fiances.
Then just pour enough hot, boiled water to submerge your now snipped chilis and let those sit for about half an hour.
So right, filling. See, chilis aren’t starchy so they won’t get all nice and crispy without a bit of help – here, in the form of some
flour and sesame seeds.
So that’ll be six tablespoons of sesame seeds, raw, untoasted three tablespoons of all-purpose flour, three tablespoons of cornstarch, and one teaspoon salt.
This coat and slightly fill the chilis to give them some of that missing crunch so just set that aside for now.
Back to the chilis unless you’re some kind of masochist, it’s a good idea to de-seed.
Now, for most chilis – arbols, heaven facing,zunyi bullet, cayennes – you would probably deseed these when dry.
We just had to do this now because the dried chicken claw is like super wrinkly and so alot easier to deseed when wet.
But either way, now just let the chilis drain and dry for about fifteen minutes.
After that quicker breather, grab the biggest bowl you have – a popcorn bowl like this is perfect – and toss in the sesame coating
and your chilis.
Then coat those by continuously pulling from the bottom up.
This slight twisting motion allows some of our coating to enter the chilis, which’s what’ll make this feel crispy.
In the end, you’re looking for something more or less like this.
So now, to fry. In a wok, get about three cups of oil up to about 130 centigrade and drop in your chilis, bit by bit.
This lower the temperature, which is fine and expected.
Just keep your flame high enough so that your oil stays at around 90 to 100 degrees, which was medium-low on our stove.
This might feel like a very low frying temperature and that’s because it is a low frying temperature.
Hot oil will scald your chilis.
Now, depending on the type of chilis you’re working with, there’s going to be this massive variance in how long that’ll take.
After about eight minutes, if you’re working with less than fresh chilis, they’ll already be cooked and crispy.
These guys though? Just getting started.
See, the timing is gunna completely depend on the moisture content of your peppers.
We’re waiting for that moisture to evaporate, which’s why our frying oil is right about 100 centigrade and no higher.
For many of you, I’m guessing your chilis be done at about the fifteen-minute mark, but for us, these Guizhou chicken
claws were just starting to get stiff so, we gotta keep on frying.
At the 25 minute mark, the chili was finally starting to get crispy, and you can start to see a couple of chilis beginning to lose their color a bit.
At this point, much of the moisture’s already evaporated, so our frying oil’s starting to quickly inch up past 100.
We like to take these guys out once the oil gets up to about 130ish or roughly three minutes after that point.
So then lay those out on a paper towel lined tray and these are ready for seasoning.
Now this seasoning mix here is awesome,and honestly? really makes the dish.
To make it, first, toast a tablespoon of Sichuan peppercorn and a half tablespoon of fennel seed over a medium-low flame for about two minutes or until they start to smell really nice.
Then transfer over to a mortar and toss in a teaspoon of salt together with a half tablespoon of each sugar and MSG and grind that all together for about two minutes.
Now just sprinkle that seasoning all over everything, give it a quick mix, and remove the paper towels. Continue to toss for a couple of minutes so that everything’s good and cooled down, and with that, your chili chips are done.
Put any you don’t devour immediately into an airtight container to store.
So in Guizhou, together with this crispy chili people would put other crispy fried stuff in for example peanuts or small dried fish.
or meat jerky.
So you can use this as a base and then put stuff in that you think that it may work.
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