There seems to be a constant and consistent release of new hot sauces and spicy condiments. Many of them have been on the market for years or decades are only recently gaining popularity. One of those spicy products is Lao Gan Ma Spicy Chili Crisp.
Lao Gan Ma has a Scoville rating between 10,,000 to 20,000 SHU due to the high chili pepper concentration but not necessarily the type of pepper used. Some other popular hot sauces like Frank’s RedHot ranks about 500, Tabasco® lists as 3,000 and Cholula has a Scoville rating of 1,500. The spiciness of Lao Gan Ma is low compared to many newer sauces on the market. Many chili crisp style hot sauce will be low to medium heat with a heavy concentration of oil.
Lao Gan Ma is a popular brand of chili sauce from China. It is known for its distinctive flavor and spicy kick that distinguishes it from other spicy condiments. Lao Gan Ma, which translates to “Old Godmother,” was founded by Tao Huabi in the late 1990s and has gained a cult following both in China and internationally.
The sauce is made from a combination of chili peppers, soybean oil, garlic, and various spices. It is commonly used as a condiment or ingredient in cooking, adding a spicy and savory taste to dishes. It is actually considered a chili crisp or chili oil and not a hot sauce although the differences are narrow.
How hot is Lao Gan Ma?
Lao Gan Ma chili sauce is known for its spiciness, but the level of heat can vary depending on the specific variety you choose. Some varieties of Lao Gan Ma are milder, while others are quite hot. The spiciness is primarily derived from the chili peppers used in the sauce. The Spicy Chili Crisp label only indicates “chili” as the source of heat but this is one of the main ingredients.
If you are sensitive to spicy foods, it is advisable to start with a milder variety and gradually increase the amount you use to adjust to your preferred level of heat. It’s always a good idea to read the label or product description to get an idea of the spiciness level before trying a new variety of Lao Gan Ma chili sauce.
Methods of testing
Taste testing a hot sauce for the level of heat and spiciness can be very accurate, especially if you are an avid hot sauce consumer. However, it may not be an accurate indication of the Scoville rating. This is typically done through laboratory testing using precise instruments in a controlled environment. Read more here for 3 Ways to Test the Heat Level of a Hot Sauce.
What are the ingredients?
Simply reading the label of Lao Gan Ma Chili Crisp will list the ingredients as being soybean oil, chili, onion, soybean, monosodium glutamate, prickly ash powder, sugar, salt, sulfur dioxide, sodium sulfite.
The peppers are most likely some of the more common peppers from China called Tein Tsin Pepper or Chinese Red Pepper. The Scoville rating for the Chinese Red Pepper is 10,000 to 50,000 SHU.
What is Lao Gan Ma made with?
Lao Gan Ma chili sauce is made with a combination of ingredients that give it its unique flavor. The main ingredients include chili peppers, soybean oil, garlic, and various spices. The specific types of chili peppers used can vary, but they are typically a mix of dried chili peppers that provide the sauce with its spiciness. Additionally, Lao Gan Ma may contain other ingredients such as fermented soybeans, onions, and MSG (monosodium glutamate) for added flavor. The exact recipe and ingredients used may vary slightly between different varieties of Lao Gan Ma chili sauce.
What makes it spicy?
Lao Gan Ma chili sauce gets its spiciness primarily from the chili peppers used in its preparation. The specific types of chili peppers can vary, but they are typically dried chili peppers that are known for their heat. These chili peppers contain a compound called capsaicin, which is responsible for the spicy sensation when consumed. The more capsaicin present in the chili peppers, the hotter the sauce will be.
In addition to chili peppers, Lao Gan Ma may also contain other ingredients like garlic, which can contribute to the overall spiciness and flavor profile of the sauce. The combination of chili peppers, garlic, and other spices creates a unique and fiery taste that makes Lao Gan Ma spicy. It’s important to note that the level of spiciness can vary between different varieties of Lao Gan Ma, so it’s always a good idea to check the label or product description for an indication of the heat level.
Best foods with Lao Gan Ma
Lao Gan Ma chili sauce can be a versatile condiment that adds a spicy and savory kick to various dishes. A chili crisp or chili oil is becoming popular with many foods outside of tradition Chinese cuisine. Here are some popular foods that pair well with Lao Gan Ma.
Lao Gan Ma is commonly used as a topping or sauce for noodles, such as stir-fried noodles, ramen, or even plain boiled noodles. It adds a flavorful and spicy element to the dish.
Hot Pot: Lao Gan Ma can be a fantastic addition to hot pot meals. You can dip your cooked meats, vegetables, and other ingredients into the sauce to add a spicy and flavorful element to your hot pot experience.
Lao Gan Ma can be a delicious dipping sauce for dumplings, whether they are steamed, boiled, or pan-fried. It complements the dumplings’ flavors and adds an extra layer of spiciness.
Sandwiches or wraps: Lao Gan Ma can be spread on sandwiches or wraps to give them a spicy kick. It pairs well with ingredients like grilled chicken, vegetables, or tofu.
Lao Gan Ma can be used as a seasoning or sauce for stir-fried vegetables, tofu, or meat dishes. It adds a spicy and aromatic flavor to the stir-fry.
Tofu dishes: Lao Gan Ma pairs exceptionally well with tofu. You can stir-fry tofu with vegetables and Lao Gan Ma for a quick and flavorful vegetarian dish. It can also be used as a dipping sauce for crispy tofu.
Lao Gan Ma can be used to spice up your eggs. You can drizzle it over scrambled eggs, omelets, or even add a dollop to a fried egg for an extra kick of flavor.
Snacks: Lao Gan Ma can be a delicious addition to snacks like popcorn, roasted nuts, or even potato chips. It adds a spicy and savory twist to your favorite munchies.
If you enjoy a spicy twist on your pizza, try adding Lao Gan Ma as a topping. It can add a unique and fiery flavor to your favorite pizza combinations.
Sichuan cuisine: Lao Gan Ma is often associated with Sichuan cuisine, known for its bold and spicy flavors. Many Sichuan dishes, such as Mapo Tofu or Kung Pao Chicken, can be enhanced with Lao Gan Ma to intensify the heat and taste.
Lao Gan Ma can be mixed into rice dishes, such as fried rice or rice bowls, to give them a spicy and savory twist.
Grilled or roasted meats: Lao Gan Ma can be used as a marinade or glaze for grilled or roasted meats, such as chicken, pork, or beef. It adds a spicy and tangy flavor to the meat.
The level of spiciness can vary, so adjust the amount of Lao Gan Ma according to your taste preferences. Remember, these are just a few suggestions, and you can get creative with Lao Gan Ma by experimenting with different dishes and flavors. Enjoy exploring the spicy world of Lao Gan Ma!