A spicy Asian twist on classic hummus. This recipe for Chili Crisp Lao Gan Ma (老干妈) Hummus paired with crackers and fresh veggies is the perfect dish to bring to a social gathering. It has a smooth velvety texture paired with the addition of fragrant chili crisp, truly a crowd-pleaser.
Over the past few years, chili crisp from Lao Gan Ma has gained popularity worldwide. It has the right kick of spice to act as an all-purpose sauce and the right amount of complexity. The list of recipes that can use Lao Gan Ma is endless and has definitely made itself a staple in any pantry.
What is Lao Gan Ma?
Lao Gan Ma(老干妈), meaning old godmother in Chinese, is a well-liked chili crisp that is very popular in China. It has large crunchy flakes, ruby red oil and a stern-looking Grandma on its jar.
The Lao Gan Ma brand was started by a woman named Tao Huabi in 1996, and she created the company from scratch. Tao started selling rice noodles with chili because she needed to support her two children after her husband passed.
After a while, people started coming to Tao not to purchase the Lao Gan Ma noodles but the chili oil. She opened a factory with her government's help, which turned her into a billionaire. Lao Gan Ma eventually became popular not only in China but also worldwide.
Recently, a surge of Lao Gan Ma took the internet by storm. From clothing collaborations, to the viral trend of adding Lao Gan Ma chili crisp to icecream.
What is Hummus, and Where Is It From?
Hummus is a popular dish from the Middle East, and it has a reputation as a clean and healthy food for good reason. The main ingredients of hummus are superfoods, and they include sesame paste (tahini), garlic, chickpeas, and olive oil in the traditional versions.
It combines chickpeas and acids pureed into a paste and then dipped into with chips of various kinds, vegetables and bread. It has a delicious creamy texture despite having no presence of dairy usually.
In Western countries like the US, hummus is in many forms, and with its rise in popularity, it can be found in simple forms. Some of the forms may include just chickpeas and maybe one or two vegetables for flavoring and color, such as beets.
What You Will Need:
- 480g drained chickpeas (800g can if including water)
- Juice of half a lemon
- 4 cloves of garlic
- ⅓ cup Tahini
- ¼ cup Olive Oil
- ¼ cup Laoganma chili crisp + additional for garnish
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Bread, chips, or veggies to dip
- Optional: Green onions and Sesame for garnish
Lao Gan Ma Hummus Recipe Instructions
1. To a food processor or blender, add drained chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, tahini, olive oil, and chili crisp. Blend until smooth.
2. Add water and blend to adjust for consistency. You want a smooth and fluffy texture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with your favorite vegetables and bread.
3. Optional: Garnish with additional chili crisp, slice green onions, and sesame.
What is Chili Crisp and How to Make It
Chili crisp is a Chinese infused oil used as a sauce or a condiment. It's full of crunchy little bits of roasted soy-beans, garlic, onions, scallions, chili peppers and other aromatics. Chili crisp, chili oil, and chili sauce are used interchangeably but what makes the chili crisp different is the ratio of the crispy bits to the oil. This hummus recipe uses premade Lao Gan Ma chili crisp, however it is very easy to make it yourself. The instructions are below.
How to Make Your Own Chili Crisp
With plenty of options in the market like Lao Gan Ma, making your own chili oil may not be at the top of your list, but it could be a great way to be creative and use ingredients that you prefer.
- Choose the type of chili you want to use and ensure it is ground, but de-seed it if you don't want it extra spicy.
- Pick your aromatics and spices such as ginger, fennel, cumin, scallions, cinnamon, garlic or star anise. These spices are for supporting the chili.
- Decide the oil to use. You can choose any neutral oil with a high-smoke-point such as vegetable, canola, or soybean oil.
- Decide if you want more crunch or more oil.
- Heat the oil to 370-380F and pour it over the chilis and spices. Ensure the oil covers most of the chilies and spices. Be careful as the it can easily bubble over or splatter.
- Allow it to sit overnight.
The Recent Chili Crisp Trend
While Lao Gan Ma has been growing steadily in global popularity, the condiment chili crisp got to superstar status during the pandemic. While the chili crisps and oils were already popular, their demand heightened during the pandemic to the point of selling out.
What Can You Serve Lao Gan Ma With?
Stir fries, noodles, and dumplings are great uses of the Lao Gan Ma products, but the chili crisp trend has inspired a lot of interesting flavor fusions on the internet. From chili oil on pineapple, to broccoli, to fried rice, and even on vanilla ice cream.
Some of the interesting mashups include:
1. Drizzled over Vanilla Ice cream
There has been controversial uproar on the internet over topping an ice cream sundae with spicy chili crisp oil. If you are a fan of sweet and salty dessert combinations, definitely give this a try.
This trend hit the US for good reason. People on TikTok have been adding chili crisp to their McDonalds soft serve cones and McFlurries. The adventurous dessert is an amazing combo thanks to the sweetness of the cold and creamy icecream mixed with the heat and spice of the chili crisp.
2. Whipped Into Mayonnaise
Mix mayonnaise with chili crisp for an interesting twist on a classic condiment. It makes a great addition for a more flavorful chicken, egg, or tuna salad. You can even use it as dip for french fries, chicken, nuggets, or as sandwich spread. It's also a suitable condiment for those who are on a keto diet.
3. Drizzle It On Noodles
Serve some warm noodles with a generous scoop of chili crisp, tahini, soy sauce, and a dash of Chinese black vinegar. Top your noodles with sliced scallions and some sesame seeds. One of my favorite lazy meals!
4. Sprinkle on Mango
Spiced mango is a popular snack in parts of the world. In Mexico, they serve mango with Tajin chili lime powder. It's delicious and you can try it with chili crisp! Cut up your mango, toss in some lime juice, and then drizzle it with chili crisp.
5. Incorporate into Chocolate
Spiced chocolate has become more popular recently. The tiggling heat of the spices cut with the rich creaminess of the chocolate. Truly a match made in heaven. Melt your favorite dark chocolate and spread it on a sheet pan covered in parchment paper, and then sprinkle some chili crisp on top to taste.
Place the pan in your refrigerator until its bark sets up completely and break into shards you can snack on.
6. Layer On Grilled Cheese
As seen from the ice cream example, chili crisp plays well with creamy flavors. Spice up your grilled cheese with a drizzle of crisp chili before frying. Get even more creative and add some kimchi to your chili oil grilled cheese.
7. Spoon on Hummus
Most people enjoy hummus, but the store-bought ones can be plain. However, you can incorporate a few add-ins like chopped olives, pine puts, a squeeze of lemon juice or roasted red pepper, and they can help. Notably, chili crisp adds some crunch and spice giving you an all-in-one solution. Our recipe for chili crisp hummus is definitely a crowd-pleaser.
8. Add to a Savoury Oatmeal
Some people enjoy a bowl of oats spiced with brown sugar, cinnamon and a pat of butter, while others prefer savory oatmeal. It is quite simple to make where you will need to cook the oats down in stock rather than water and use add-ins such as avocado, fried egg or soft boiled eggs, dashi, and crumbled bacon. Chili crisp gives your oatmeal the perfect final touch and garnish.
Lao Gan Ma Products
Lao Gan Ma makes many products, including a spicy bean curd, hot pot mix, pickled cabbage, and more. However, we will look at a few chili-based alternatives for this recipe. They include:
a). Chili Oil with Black Beans
Deeply rich sauce with fermented black soybeans. It is heavily salted with strong umami flavors that add an unexpected creaminess to your food.
You can add the product to noodles or on top of tofu.
b). Spicy Chili Crisp
One of the most versatile products. This classic chili crisp made Lao Gan Ma trend over the pandemic. It features onions, crispy garlic and chilis floating in oil, and it can be eaten on its own, as a dip, or be added to a dish.
Lao Gan Ma Spicy Chili Crisp is savory, salty, spicy, and it has a crumbly texture that makes it addictive.
You can enjoy it with eggs, ice cream, dumplings, rice, vegetables, roasted chicken, or as a topping for your noodles.
c). Tomato Chili Sauce
The Tomato Chili Sauce from Lao Gan Ma is a thin onion, garlic, and tomato sambal sauce that needs no cooking and can be eaten directly from the jar. It is relatively similar to Lao GanMa'ss pickled chili sauce but a tomato-based version making it easier to incorporate in many dishes.
d). Spicy Bean Paste
This Lao Gan Ma product is a pulverized version of the Chili oil with Black beans. It is quite thick and should be thinned using broth or water, making it a great base for stir fry sauces and marinades.
It makes a great base for tofu with pork and other hot stir-fries, or you can also toss it into a marinade to make Asian-style barbeque.
e). Fried Chili in Oil
Lao Gan Ma fried chili in oil is similar to the Spicy Chili Crisp, but it has peanuts. In addition, it features oil-soaked peanuts that may not have a lot of crunchiness. Be careful if you have a nut allergy.
You can add this product as garnish for our chili crisp hummus. The peanuts will add a delightful texture.
f). Pickled Chili
This Lao Gan Ma sauce is best served as a dipping condiment for your favorite dumplings, especially when you water it down with some soy sauce and sugar.
g). Hot Chili Sauce
This product has texture and elements that may not be for everyone. It includes bean curd, peanuts, and salted rutabagas. It delicious if you like a mix of different textures.
How to Make Classic Hummus
To make hummus, no cooking is needed as you only need a food processor or blender.
Follow the steps below:
- Drain one or two cans of chickpeas. You can use canned or cook your own from dried garbanzos.
- Dump your chickpeas in your food processor and puree them.
- Add tahini.
- Throw a few peeled garlic cloves, and you can taste them as you go while adding your ingredients gradually. This helps you know whether you have added little garlic because you can always add more.
- Add a quarter lemon juice for zing and if your paste turns out too stiff, add some olive oil or water to the processor to soften it.
You can serve your hummus with vegetables such as cucumber slices, red pepper wedges, and carrot spears. Also, you can pair your hummus with pita bread and crackers.
- 480g drained chickpeas (800g can if including water)
- juice of half a lemon
- 4 cloves of garlic
- ⅓ cup tahini
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup laoganma chili crisp + additional for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- To a food processor or blender, add drained chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, tahini, olive oil, and chili crisp. Blend until smooth.
- Add water and blend to adjust for consistency. You want a smooth and fluffy texture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with your favorite vegetables and bread.
- Optional: Garnish with additional chili crisp, slice green onions, and sesame.