What's The Difference Between The Viral Wet-Wet Sauce And Chili Crisp Oil?

chili oil with dumplings
chili oil with dumplings - Mtreasure/Getty Images

Chili crisp oil is a versatile condiment that consists of chili flakes, oil, and assorted seasonings, such as cumin and MSG. The crunchy textures in chili crisp oil can be derived from a variety of ingredients, including fried bits of garlic, roasted peanuts, or sesame seeds. As seen on TikTok and elsewhere around the internet, the viral wet-wet sauce is a play on chili crisp oil that uses new ingredients for a more complex flavor.

The primary difference between traditional chili crisp oil recipes and the updated viral version is the presence of rice vinegar in the latter. Rice vinegar which is different than rice wine, offers mild acidity offset by pleasant sweetness, which helps temper the heat of the chili flakes. Because the spice of the condiment is a little more tolerable, wet-wet sauce is incredibly versatile and pairs well with a variety of foods. This includes meat, seafood, stir-fried dishes, tacos, dumplings, and numerous other preparations.

Read more: 13 Tips To Make Your Shrimp Taste So Much Better

Savory Additions Make Wet-Wet Sauce A Standout

bowl of chili oil
bowl of chili oil - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Chili crisp oil recipes do not usually include additional sauces, while wet-wet sauce gets a savory boost from some select ingredients. Both the oyster sauce and soy sauce called for in the recipe have a slightly sweet yet salty quality that enhances the umami flavor of wet-wet sauce (consider that umami isn't merely salty or savory, it also has a rich, meaty component).

Soy and oyster sauces are added at the end of the cooking process after the vegetable and sesame oils have been heated and incorporated into the rest of the ingredients. Adding the sauces at the end helps preserve their tanginess and infuses the wet-wet sauce with bright, acidic flavors. Along with flavor enhancement, combining these sauces with oil creates a thinner consistency. As a result, wet-wet sauce is perfect for dipping, which means you can enjoy it with fried shrimp, veggies, or even chips.

How Textures Between The Two Condiments Differ

jar of homemade chili oil
jar of homemade chili oil - Vm2002/Getty Images

Both wet-wet sauce and chili crisp oil feature a neutral oil base. Neutral oils don't usually impart a ton of flavor (which may be why wet-wet sauce also calls for a splash of sesame oil), but they're an ideal vehicle for the other ingredients included in each recipe. With chili crisp oil, there's an emphasis on crunchy ingredients to give the condiment its pleasing texture.

Wet-wet sauce lacks these crispy elements for a silkier texture and thinner consistency. The sesame seeds do impart some texture and the green onions, garlic, and ginger are relatively crisp since they're not technically cooked (the hot oil is simply poured over the other ingredients), but no ingredients are added specifically to increase crunchiness. These characteristics give wet-wet sauce the edge when you're looking for something to drizzle over food, which is a great way to upgrade your frozen pizza.

Despite any differences, both condiments make great additions to your recipe arsenal when you're seeking a bold burst of flavors.

Read the original article on Daily Meal