This brittle is made in the manner of sesame or peanut candies enjoyed in both the East and West, only with a generous dollop of Lao Gan Ma’s beloved savory sauce stirred into the candy as it hardens. Its crunchy particles burst with savory contrast, and the oil seeps throughout for a subtle hint of heat. Serve crumbled bits of it atop your ice cream sundae—with or without more chile sauce. When you’re ready to go deeper into chile crisp seminary, try your hand at homemade ice cream infused with its signature flavors. I did already, and it is divine.
- Prepare a cookie sheet with the butter spread evenly across its surface and set aside.
- In a saucepan, combine the sugar, salt, and water and bring to a boil. Stir and reduce heat to a gentle, steady boil. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes, or until the color turns golden brown and its fragrance begins to smell toasty. Remove from heat.
- Stir in the peanuts and sesame seeds, immediately followed by the Spicy Chili Crisp. Quickly stir to distribute, then pour onto the buttered cookie sheet and spread in an even layer as thin as you can. The mixture will harden in a few seconds, so work quickly. Let cool a few minutes, then break up into pieces and enjoy.
Cathy Erway is the author of the cookbook The Food of Taiwan and the memoir The Art of Eating In. She hosts the podcasts Self Evident, exploring Asian American stories, and Eat Your Words on Heritage Radio Network, and blogs at Not Eating Out in New York.