cover image Chili Crisp: 50+ Recipes to Satisfy Your Spicy, Crunchy, Garlicky Cravings

Chili Crisp: 50+ Recipes to Satisfy Your Spicy, Crunchy, Garlicky Cravings

James Park. Chronicle, $24.95 (176p) ISBN 978-1-79721-976-9

Cooking My Feelings blogger Park’s debut joyfully explores the possibilities of chili crisp, a savory and spicy oil-based Chinese condiment. His own recipe for “everyday” chili crip calls for 17 ingredients, including gochugaru (a Korean red pepper paste) and three types of pepper flakes, but home cooks are welcome to substitute a store brand. From there, recipes for focaccia, instant noodles, egg salad sandwiches, and quesadillas all get an inventive chili crisp upgrade. Dubbing himself a “ chili crisp hype man,” Park offers up “nontraditional, boundary-pushing” variations of Korean dishes including chili crisp bulgogi deopbap, and savory mushroom and ground beef ssam. Other updated classics include “fiery” spaghetti and meatballs and spicy potato gratin. Rather than thinking of chili crisp as just a topping, Park seeks ways to integrate it into dishes, for example, folding it into both the caramel and chocolate layers of caramel chocolate bars. Some recipes would benefit from photos, such as the supposedly “visually stunning” breakfast casserole with tater tots. Still, Park’s enthusiasm is infectious as he shares the stories behind the recipes and meditates on chili crisp’s role in his embrace of his Korean identity and broader Asian heritage. This exuberant exploration will inspire chili crisp aficionados—and anyone interested in spicing up their cooking. Agent: Jon Michael Darga, Aevitas Creative Management. (Aug.)