Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Roast Grapes and Chili Crisp Dip (or Spread)

Roast Grapes and Chili Crisp Dip (or Spread)

Easy, Tasty – and Ideal with Crackers, Crostini, or even Ice Cream

Roasted grapes? Yeah, they’re terrific all by themselves. But add chili crisp (a spicy Chinese condiment) and you have a powerful pairing.

We particularly like to use this combo in a tasty dip (which you can also use as a spread, topping, or sauce).

Prepare to smack your lips.

Roast Grapes and Chili Crisp Dip (or Spread)

Recipe: Roast Grapes and Chili Crisp Dip (or Spread)

Chili crisp has become a thing. We first took notice of it a few years ago when our friend Terry (who writes the blog Blue Kitchen) used the ingredient in a recipe for "Old Godmother" Spicy Potatoes and Pork.

Chili crisp is spicy and a bit crunchy (hence the “crisp” part of the name). The crunch comes from roasted onions, which are combined with hot peppers and oil. It tastes a bit like Chinese chili garlic sauce on steroids. It’s hot, but not tongue numbing. You could probably eat a spoonful of chili crisp without dire consequences (though we don’t recommend it). That’s not something we would ever do with chili garlic sauce.

Several brands of chili crisp are available. We prefer the Lao Gan Ma brand (Lao Gan Ma means “old godmother,” hence the name of Terry’s recipe). It’s the original chili crisp and we think it’s still the best. You can find it online or at any Asian market.
 
This recipe takes about 35 to 40 minutes to make (most of that time is for roasting the grapes).

The recipe yields about 1 cup. Leftovers keep for several days if refrigerated in an airtight container.

Ingredients

  • ~1 pound of grapes (we prefer red grapes)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil (may substitute another edible oil of your choice)
  • salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon kosher salt; see Notes)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste (maybe a dozen grinds)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Lao Gan Ma Spicy Chili Crisp

Procedure 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (see Notes). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. Remove the grapes from their stems (see Notes) and place them in a colander or strainer. Wash the grapes under the kitchen faucet, then shake the colander to remove excess water. 
  3. Place the grapes in a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, then roll the grapes around in it until they’re coated. Add salt and black pepper to taste, using your hands to distribute the seasoning evenly.
  4. Pour the grapes onto the lined baking sheet. Spread them around so they do not touch. Roast the grapes for 25 to 30 minutes – just until they’re starting to blacken.
  5. Remove the roasted grapes from the oven and let them cool for at least 10 minutes. Then add the grapes to the bowl of a food processor (for 1 pound of grapes, you can use a mini food processor). Add one to two tablespoons of chili crisp (see Notes) and whirl briefly to combine. We prefer a chunky texture, so we stop the food processor after a few spins. Taste the mixture, add salt if needed, and serve. 
Roast Grapes and Chili Crisp Dip (or Spread)
Ingredients:  Roast Grapes and Lao Gan Ma Spicy Chili Crisp

Notes

  • We typically use a high heat setting when roasting fruits or vegetables. For roasting grapes, you can probably use any oven temperature from 350 to 450 degrees F. Adjust roasting time accordingly. 
  • When we roast grapes to use alone, we rarely remove them from their stems (we just pick them off one by one after they’re roasted). For this recipe, we find it easier to remove them from the stems before roasting.
  • Red grapes? Green grapes? Black grapes? We always use red, but another variety would probably work as well.
  • Don’t have grapes on hand? You could probably substitute plums, peaches, strawberries, or another fruit. 
  • How much chili crisp to use? We prefer 2 tablespoons per pound of grapes. But we like spicy. You might want to start with 1 tablespoon and adjust upwards if you crave more kick.
  • You can serve Roast Grapes and Chili Crisp Dip with crackers. Or as a spread on crostini. Or even use it as an ice cream topping. It would also work as a salsa-type sauce on roast or grilled meat (try it with pork). 
  • Want to serve this dip on crostini? We suggest using a layer of cream cheese. Just spread a smear of cream cheese on slices of French bread (we sometimes toast them slightly), then top with the dip. 
  • BTW, adding some roast grapes (on the stem) to a cheese board will make you a popular host. Roast grapes are particularly nice with goat cheese or blue cheese.
  • We use kosher salt in cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt (the crystals are larger and more irregular, so they pack a measure less tightly). If using table salt, start with about half the amount we suggest. But always season to taste – yours, not ours. 
Roast Grapes and Chili Crisp Dip (or Spread)

Crispy Critters

“Yummo!” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “I can’t decide if this is better as a dip or a topping. Luckily, I don’t have to choose.”

“So you’re glad I dipped into my bag of tricks to make this?” I said.

“Indeed,” said Mrs K R. “This is so good, I can’t spread on too much praise.”

Go ahead. Much better than having Mrs K R roast me.

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98 comments:

  1. The combo of sweet and spicy is always a thing for me. The spread looks terrific, John. I would literally spread it on everything :-))

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    1. Hi Angie, when we have this on hand, we DO spread it on everything. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  2. John, this sounds like a great dip. Wait, no,I mean a great spread or I think both. I love spicy chili crisp (although I'm out just now) and use it in many of my Sichuan dishes. I love the sweetness the roasted grapes must give this dish. A perfect balance for the spiciness of the chili sauce. OH, I think I'd love for MRS K R to roast you but not in the way of the grapes. Great recipe and as always fantastic images...

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    1. Hi Ron, Mrs KR roasts me all the time. :-) You really need to get some more chili crisp and make this -- it's astonishingly good. Thanks for the comment.

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  3. John, your dip recipes are the best! I could see myself making this recipe using roasted plums or even using the chili crisp sauce in a pork or chicken stew. Thanks for the recipe!

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    1. Hi Fran, we haven't tried plums yet but will soon. Next summer I'm looking forward to using peaches -- I think that'd be a wonderful pairing. Thanks for the comment.

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  4. I always want to make roasted grapes so now I have no excuse. Yours look delicious!

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    1. Hi Denise, roast grapes are easy to make, easier to eat. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  5. John, when I saw the first photo and read the title, I had an absolute Pavlovian response. And your descriptions of ways to use it have me ready to be making and eating this right now (we're eating a lot of ice cream these days, for one thing). Also, thank you so much for the generous shout-out to our blog. Always a pleasure to see what you're up to in your kitchen.

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    1. Hi Terry, wait until you taste this -- it's right up your alley. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  6. Anything with lao gan ma is just an absolute delight! This looks amazing!

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    1. Hi Sammie, it's really good. Really. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  7. Suddenly at a certain point everyone started talking about chili crisp! I've seen lots of praise for its wonders and many recipes or suggested combinations. This is an unusual one!

    be well... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Mae, chili crisp really is a fun condiment -- love its flavor! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  8. I love roasted grapes! And paired with chili to make a dip sounds crazy good!

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    1. Hi Laura, this IS crazy good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  9. Grapes are my favorite thing ever!! On my way over for some of this dip! :)

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    1. Hi Ashley, come on over! :-) You'll love this! Thanks for the comment.

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  10. Yum! What a tasty combination of flavors and textures.

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    1. Hi Pam, it's really, really good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  11. Love the recipe John, in what other recipes to you use the spicy chili crisp? Do you have to keep it in the fridge? I An tempted to order the sauce.

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    1. Hi Gerlinde, we use chili crisp a lot in stir-fries and with noodles. It's great with noodles! Google will help you find a lot of recipe. We keep it in the refrigerator, although I'm not sure if that's necessary. Better safe than sorry, though. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  12. Another recipe of yours that is bookmarked. I think this might make some great ballgame food!

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    1. Hi Anne, I could definitely see this as ballgame fare. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  13. A couple of thank yous wending their way towards you this morning ! Have just visited 'Blue Kitchen' and surely hope to visit it again :) ! Secondly: altho' I have eaten and cooked Asian all my life and do so multiple times every week . . . I have never ever come across a 'chilli crisp' hereabouts . . . probably have not known to look, but have never met in recipes either ! Possibly again a more American ingredient ? Homework will be done . . .best . .

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    1. Hi Eha, Terry's blog is nice, isn't it? He's a great cook. And chili crisp is great stuff! Worth getting to know. It's definitely Chinese, although maybe marketed more here then in some other parts of the world? Although I'd think Australia would be a natural market for them. Worth looking for. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  14. Oh this is a great sweet and spicy combo. I would totally put this on my ice cream

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    1. Hi Pat and Dahn, isn't this a neat combo of flavors? Very addictive. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  15. Very creative, roasting grapes sounds divine yet it's something I have never done. Thank you for pointing out the chilli crisp, there is something similar here, so must try your recipe out, thank you so much :D

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    1. Hi Merryn, roast grapes have terrific flavor. Add chili crisp and you'll be in heaven. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  16. Replies
    1. Hi Izaa, it is! Really good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  17. Oh wow, what an idea! I would love a crostini like this!

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    1. Hi Natalia, isn't this a fun dish? The crostini version is superb! Thanks for the comment.

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  18. Well, I most certainly need to introduce myself to chili crisp. I've never heard of it. And I love roasted grapes. This recipe is a must make ... and soon.

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    1. Hi Lea Ann, you'll love chili crisp! Good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  19. love your photos as usual john. not sure i get the concept of chilli crisp? i think of a crisp as a potato chip:) roast grapes are wonderful, and go well with a roast chicken.
    cheers
    sherry

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    1. Hi Sherry, the name is a bit odd, IMO. The "crisp" part comes from its crispy, crunchy consistency. Good stuff, though. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  20. i just did a bit of a google and it seems we just call it by the brand name lao gan ma here in the shops.

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    1. Hi Sherry, that's frankly the most sensible thing to call it! Although it's a bit of a mouthful. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  21. Loving this sweet and spicy combination. We make own garlic chili and black bean crisp sauce which is so easy to do. Never thought to put these together, brilliant John.

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    1. Hi Bobbi, I've thought about making my own chili crisp, but like the commercial version enough that I just use that. Should try making my own one of these days, though. And yeah, the combo of the chili crisp with roast grapes is excellent. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  22. This is a genius recipe! I love chili crisp and it seems everyone is coming out with their own version. But mixing it with roasted grapes? Genius. Can't wait to try this!

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    1. Hi Abbe, so simple, yet so good. SO good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  23. What a delicious dip! Love the combination of sweet and spicy here and perfect on that cream cheese spread.

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    1. Hi Amy, it's a fun combo of flavors -- really good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  24. This is so interesting John, I am going to the Asian market this weekend and I will look for that chili crisp for sure.

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    1. Hi Amira, bet you'll love chili crisp. Not only is it good stuff, it has so many different uses! Thanks for the comment.

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  25. Well, doesn’t this look fantastic? I had never heard of chili crisp — and have already ordered some (and am really happy to learn it is garlic free!). It’s arriving Monday. Will pick up some grapes at the market tomorrow. I want to try this with the wines we will be testing — I think it could be a beautiful pairing! Thanks, John! This is such a fun to recipe to add to my rotation.

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    1. Hi David, chili crisp is good stuff! Wait until you taste it -- it's fantastic. And I think it'll work well with the wines you'll be presenting. Glad to hear it doesn't have garlic -- I didn't actually read the list of ingredients! Thanks for the comment.

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  26. Thank you for introducing me to chili crisp. I have never heard of it, and I love spicy food! Roasted grapes are an old favorite in this house. In fact most fruit is only improved by some time in the oven.

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    1. Hi Laura, totally agree with you about fruit and oven time! :-) Enjoy chili crisp -- bet you'll find some neat ways to use it! Thanks for the comment.

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  27. I want to try some on a toast or crostini. The sweet and spicy combo sounds appetizing

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    1. Hi Nammi, its flavor is really appetizing. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  28. Chili crisp, where have you been all my life?! This is the first I've heard of it. Looking forward to trying it. And what's not to love about roasted grapes. Love the photos with the reflections!

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    1. Hi Jean, chili crisp is such good stuff -- you'll enjoy it. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  29. Sweet and fruity with salty and spicy. I love that combo! I bet this would be dynamite made into a grilled cheese sandwich, too.

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    1. Hi Carolyn, I haven't tried this as a grilled cheese sandwich, but I will! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  30. I am loving the sound of this dip or spread...sweet and spicy...somehow after reading your post from a couple of weeks a learned to use roasted grapes...and this is another great recipe...thanks John.
    Have a wonderful week ahead!

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    1. Hi Juliana, we've had grapes on the brain lately. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  31. I have got this sauce from asian store, usually add it in the noodles. Never thought of using it as a dip. Great idea John.

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    1. Hi Rahul, chili crisp with noodles is a terrific combo! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  32. Not sure if this is more mouth-watering, or more delicious. Both! This is a total knockout. Can't wait to try it. I've roasted grapes, but never served them up like this. Such a fantastic spicy-sweet combination. :-) ~Valentina

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    1. Hi Valentina, it's really such a simple dish, but SO good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  33. wow. amazing photos, as always, but wow. i just ordered chilli crisp. it sounds wonderful, and i've never heard of it. Yay!!!

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    1. Hi Mimi, once you try chili crisp, you'll find all sorts of uses for it. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  34. I really do love this pairing... and your photo was so tantalizing!

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    1. Hi Heidi, we aim to tantalize. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  35. How have I not heard of chili crisp before? This sounds like an absolutely delicious combination of flavours and I can't wait to try it. I bet it's perfect for a party!

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    1. Hi Katerina, it's a neat combo of flavors! And chili crisp is such good stuff -- so many different uses. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  36. Wow this is amazing, never had thought of mixing chillies and grapes before until now. Love the idea, easy to execute and I think I can do this later as I have the right ingredients at the moment

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    1. Hi Raymund, it's a wonderful combo of flavors. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  37. Oh wow! I love sweet and spicy things and this sounds like a delicious spread. Never roasted grapes nor am I familiar with Lao Gan Ma Spicy Chili Crisp. Have to re read your post and look for this sauce in the store.

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    1. Hi Balvinder, sweet and spicy is such a nice combo, isn't it? You'll love roasting grapes -- SO good! Thanks for the comment.

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  38. Hey John, I've made a dinner dish with roasted grapes before and the flavor was unique and we enjoyed! I'm gonna have to try this with the crostini and cream cheese, that looks like an amazing treat! xo

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    1. Hi Marcelle, roasted grapes are terrific! And they pair so nicely with chili crisp -- a good combo of flavors. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  39. Imagine if you did this with the cotton candy grapes, LOL!

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    1. Hi GiGi, LOL! That'd be . . . different. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  40. We adore roasted grapes, I usually serve them with Burrata and Prosciutto, so good. I have to track this spice combo down, we have a huge Asian community in Toronto so I doubt it’ll be difficult.
    Eva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com/

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    1. Hi Eva, you'll almost certainly have no problem finding chili crisp where you live. Or you could just order from Amazon. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  41. I thought it was some sort of bacon jam for a second. But I must say I'm quite curious to try your relish. The taste must be certainly unexpteced :)

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    1. Hi FT, it does look kind of like bacon jam. Which would be good, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  42. Wowwwww, John! The flavors in this are incredible! It must be so addictive!

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    1. Hi Kelly, it IS addictive. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  43. WOW! This looks awesome. I've never heard of the chili crisp but now I'm quite curious. Thanks for providing the brand suggestions. We've been getting some wonderful red grapes this year so I'm excited to try something new if I can find the crisp online. The crostini is a perfect lunch for us. Thanks. This looks wonderful!

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    1. Hi MJ, we usually get our chili crisp from Amazon -- so easy to order online. But any decent Asian grocery will have it. Bet you'll really like it -- the flavor is awesome! Thanks for the comment.

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  44. This recipe looks great! Like some of the other commenters, I hadn't heard of chili crisp before, but now I'll look for it. Roasted grapes are so good, and I rarely think of making them. When my book club starts meeting in person again, I'd love to make this!

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    1. Hi Beth, your book club will love this! So simple, but so good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  45. Replies
    1. Hi Dawn, tons of flavor. Tons! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  46. That sounds delightful, a perfect Autumnal appetizer!

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    1. Hi Debra, it's a terrific dish -- really worth trying. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  47. I've served roasted grapes and cheese but now I'm very intrigued with your spread using them with the chili crisp. Thanks so much for a new spicy treat to try, John.

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    1. Hi Karen, the flavor of this is really good -- bet you'll like it. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  48. Sounds so delicious John!! Thank you for this. I adore the sweet and savory combo and adding the crisp part is an extra delight! Might make this for Thanksgiving. I have a veal chop recipe with roasted grapes - also delish.

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    1. Hi Mary, oooh, veal chops with roasted grapes sounds terrific. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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