Chen Yu-Chao: Su Spicy Chili Crisp

Chen Yu-Chao

Su Chili Crisp is manufactured in Taipei in small batches by Chen Yu-Chao. Yu-Chao’s mother learned the most ancient and traditional way to cook spicy oil from her nanny in Sichuan. When Yu-Chao’s mother immigrated to Taiwan, she brought this age-old recipe with her. Yu-Chao believes it is his responsibility to revive and preserve this family recipe, sharing it with everyone in the world.

An auntie from Taiwan brought jars of this chili crisp as a gift for each family member—Yu-Chao is a former classmate of her son. Since then, it’s been a favorite of family and friends.

On a trip to Taiwan in 2016, I searched for the producer of this product so I could bring jars back. I asked my husband to take a picture of the back of the empty jar, which I had been saving in the hopes of someday finding it again. On a whim, I texted the phone number on the back of the jar and connected with Yu-Chao. He brought a case of 16 bottles to my hotel in Taipei, and I’ve been picking up cases from him on each trip back to Taiwan since then, sending it to friends and family as gifts.

Friends that have received this from me have told me stories of how they’ve brought jars with them to Nobu in Manhattan, shared last drops in silence, and added oil to scrapings in the bottom of the jar to extend the product. I’m so excited to finally be able to offer this product in the United States.