Many of us have been struggling to find a suitably spicy substitute while we wait for Huy Fong Sriracha to return to grocery store shelves and stop costing over $100 dollars per bottle online. Chili crisp is the condiment here to save the day, and it brings a depth of flavor and crunch that regular hot sauce just can’t match. With so many different brands of chili crisp hitting the market and your Instagram feed, it can be overwhelming for newcomers to know which one to get that will hit all the savory, spicy, and umami notes you're looking to add to your next meal. To find out which chili crisp brands are worth buying, I tried and tested several types and curated this list of the top 10 chili crisps that you should have in your pantry to add flavor, heat, and texture to your next meal. 

What is chili crisp?

A jar of chili crisp is usually made with a neutral oil, fried garlic, fried onions or shallots, and Sichuan peppercorns, but can also feature a wide range of other ingredients like sesame seeds, coriander, or anchovy. The versatility of chili crisps makes it a condiment suitable for more than just noodles or soup dumplings, with many adding it to pizza, tacos, rice, eggs, and even vanilla ice cream.

How I created this chili crisp ranking.

To get a better sense of each chili crisp on its own, I tasted them first with just the oil and crisp, and then again with just plain noodles. I took factors into consideration such as oil quality and flavor, taste and texture of the crisp, heat level, and overall balance of each chili crisp. All the brands in today’s feature are worth a try, but I’ll rank them from least to most favorite and tell you which crisp comes out on top.

10. Mr. Bing

Photo by Amazon

Mr. Bing's chili crisp comes in both mild and spicy. Some may recognize it from their college campus, as it is featured in many college dining halls. This chili crisp uses canola oil and a global combo of chilies including guajillo, chile de arbol, gochugaru, and Sichuan peppercorn. It has a lovely garlic aroma and taste. When it comes to texture, Mr. Bing was one of the more finely-processed crisps I tried, and while I enjoyed the flavor and crunch that came from its use of rice bran, I wish the ingredients had been a bit more distinguishable in the actual crisp.

9. Boon

Photo by Amazon

While researching brands on Instagram, I stumbled upon Boon, a brand that intrigued me with its dark, amber oil and thick layer of chili crisp. I decided to give it a try. Boon's jar had a heartier texture than other brands with more crisp and less oil. I loved its deep soy sauce aroma and color, and the anchovy made it a salty, umami flavor bomb. While this one fell a bit short of what I was looking for texture-wise, I did appreciate its ingredients and consider it worth trying. 

8. Sauce Up NYC Chili Crisp Sauce

Photo via Sauce Up NYC

This crisp is made with grapeseed oil and has a sweet aroma from the coconut sugar, ginger, and sesame seeds. The combination of ground seaweed, ground shiitake mushrooms, and umami powder gives this crisp an appealing balance of sweet, spicy, and savory flavors. This one also had a good ratio of oil to crisp, and I loved the chunks of dried red chilis and fried garlic. This product is vegan, paleo, keto, gluten-free, and packed with antioxidants, minerals, and fiber — making it a healthy and tasty addition to any meal.

7. BowlCut

Photo via BowlCut

BowlCut’s chili crisp stood out among all the brands I tried as it used sunflower oil, which did make it a bit more watery than some of the other oils used by other brands. The crisp consisted of a dense garlic and onion mince that had an almost onion jam appearance. The tamari sauce in this crisp was a unique addition that I hadn’t seen in other brands, and it had a good balance of heat that would pair well with a fried egg and rice or mandu dumplings.

6. MìLà Chili Crisp

Photo via MìLà

I loved this brand’s sweet and nutty sesame aroma, and it was one of the better brands I found while researching on Instagram. This crisp uses soybean oil, red chili pepper, prickly ash oil, and Sichuan peppers, which gives it a pleasant heat level that isn’t too strong. The only thing this crisp was missing for me was the crunch, as the scallion and chili peppers were finely diced. That makes it perfect for the soup dumplings the brand also features, but it was missing a bit of body to give it a better texture. 

5. Pig and Tiger

Photo via Pig and Tiger

While Pig and Tiger crisp had some of the same base ingredients of dried chilies, soybeans, canola oil, and Sichuan pepper, the addition of black cardamom, coriander, and orange spices gave this crisp a fruity and floral aroma. This crisp was one of my favorites in taste, crunch, and heat level, and I loved the blend of spices and ginger. I think the next thing I’ll try with this chili crisp will be a marinade or tossing it in with some chicken wings, perfect for game day or your next tailgating event this fall.

4. Milu

Photo via Milu

I was a little hesitant when I saw preserved black beans as an ingredient, but this chili crisp was the perfect blend of nutty, garlicky flavor with a beautiful crunch. While my goal was to try all of these crisps with noodles, this chili crisp coated my noodles with a silky, glossy oil. While the label reads “spicy & savory” flavors, this crisp was actually more sweet and salty, which was by no means a bad thing. Of all the crisps I tried, this brand has the most balanced flavor and would be the best choice to top vanilla ice cream or avocado toast with honey.

3. Super Magic Taste

Photo via Super Magic Taste

Super Magic Taste was one of the best chili crisps that really highlights the versatility of this condiment. This crisp surprised me with the addition of almonds to the more standard base of canola oil, sesame seeds, onions, garlic, and gochugaru chili. The nutty, sweet flavor of the peppers and sesame seeds also paired well with its heat level, making it perfect for rice, stir-fries, and veggies. 

2. Hot Crispy Oil

Photo via Amazon

I got the opportunity to try both the regular and extra hot versions of Hot Crispy Oil’s chili crisp, and it was one of my favorites. This brand was one of the only ones I tried that used extra-virgin olive oil as its base, but what I loved most were the big pieces of fried garlic and shallots. The heat of the regular version was well-balanced for beginners to heat, but the extra-hot stepped it up a notch and would be perfect for a dip, sauce, or pizza topping.

1. Kari Kari

Photo via Kari Kari

Kari Kari immediately impressed me with its large slices of fried garlic, as it was one of the few that I tried that didn’t mince down its crisp components. It had one of the best crunches I experienced by far with ingredients like peanut, shallot, and dried chili peppers. This crisp mixture was thick with fantastic texture and a truly satisfying crunch with every bite. I’d love to try this one again on top of a burger or street tacos, but this crisp will stay a regular brand in my pantry from now on.