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Hot Chile Paste

Source: Food & Wine
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Active Time:  15 Minutes
Total Time:  35 Minutes
  Makes about 3/4 cup
There is no single chile paste (lajiao jiang) in China, any more than there is a single salsa in Mexico. It serves as an ingredient in the kitchen and as a condiment at the table. Having tried many bottled versions over the years, we can assure you that by far the best chile paste is the one you make yourself.
1 cup loosely packed dried red chiles (1 ounce), rinsed
3/4 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 teaspoon cider vinegar or rice vinegar
In a heatproof bowl, cover the chiles with the boiling water. Place a small plate on the chiles to keep them submerged and soak until pliable, at least 20 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Transfer the chiles and their soaking liquid to a blender and puree. Blend in the salt and sugar.

Set a wok over moderately high heat. When it's very hot, add the oil and swirl to coat the wok. Add the shallots and stir-fry until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the chile puree and stir-fry for about 20 seconds, then remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar. Transfer the chile paste to a bowl to cool, then store in a glass jar.

MAKE AHEAD: The chile paste can be refrigerated for up to 3 months.

Serving size = 2 tablespoons

Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Makes about 3/4 cup
Calories: 43
Sodium: 393mg
Fiber: 1g
Carbohydrates, Total: 5g
Protein: 1g
% Cal. from Fat: 63%
Fat. Total: 3g
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