I’ve made this a million times and each time it’s a little different, depending on how garlic heavy I’m feeling that day (usually very). It doesn’t tend to last very long at ours, as one of us can usually be found picking out a crisp slice of garlic to gluttonously chomp on on our way past. Yes, we are monsters. I like to make this to accompany a bowl of ramen, but really, this will work with anything. The original recipe calls for soy sauce instead of vegemite, however, I’ve found that the water in the soy sauce will make the garlic lose its crispness a lot faster. If you hate vegemite, by all means replace it by 1-2 Tbsp of soy sauce. The goal is for it to have a slightly funky salty bite, along with the heat and the crispy textures.
Recipe slightly adapted from here.
Chilli and garlic crisp
Makes one jar
100ml sunflower oil
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and sliced thinly
1-2 shallot, peeled and halved, sliced thinly
5cm ginger, peeled, cut into tiny cubes
2 slightly heaped Tbsp chilli flakes
1 tsp vegemite or marmite
½ tsp honey
Combine the oil, cinnamon, star anise, garlic and shallot in a small pan over low to medium heat and let it bubble gently. You don’t want it to cook too quickly, otherwise the garlic will start browning at the edges while the centre is still soft, and that’s not what we want – we want evenly crisped golden garlic, so keep your eye on it.
In a bowl, combine the chilli flakes, the vegemite and the honey. It will be a little clumpy, but that’s okay.
Once the garlic just begins to take on a golden hue – this can take any time between 10-20 minutes, add the ginger. Continue frying on a low heat until everything is a nice golden hue but isn’t starting to brown – the garlic will get bitter if it does. Remove from the heat and carefully pour the hot oil over the chilli, making sure to keep back the garlic and shallot in the saucepan – not combining everything at once gives the garlic and shallot the time crisp up. Give the chilli flake and oil mixture a good stir and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Once it has cooled down, stir in the now very crispy garlic and shallot. Transfer to a glass jar and use at your own discretion.
This will stay crisp for about a week, but will still be good a few weeks after that, albeit not as crispy.