Chili Crisp Tomato Salad

tomato garden salad with chili crisp dressing on the side

In a surge of popularity, this chili crisp tomato salad has taken off thanks to apps like TikTok and Pinterest. In fact, many people make it with just two ingredients: fresh tomatoes and store bought chili crisp. My version uses homemade chili crisp and two more vegetables, but it still remains simple and delicious.

If you don’t want to make homemade chili crisp you can of course use a store bought version. The world famous Lao Gan Ma is many people’s go to brand as it was the first mass produced version.

What Is Chili Crisp?

homemade chili crisp in a jar

Chili crisp is a very popular Chinese condiment. You will often see it on the tables of dumpling or noodle shops in Mainland China, and many restaurants have their own ‘secret’ recipe. It is, simply put, an infused oil with plenty of garlic, spice, and other seasonings.

Chili Crisp Tomato Salad Ingredients

My recipe for a chili crisp tomato salad only has 4 ingredients. Tomatoes, of course, as well as red onion, cucumber, and the signature chili crisp.


  • 250 grams Cherry Tomatoes – halved
  • 2 small Persian Cucumbers – diced
  • 1 Red Onion – halved and thinly sliced
  • 2-3 tbsp Chili Crisp – either store bought or homemade
chili crisp tomato salad ingredients chopped and prepped in a purple bowl

All you have to do for this quick and easy salad is to add all the ingredients in a bowl and give a good mix. You can mix it with the chili crisp in a big batch, or just drizzle the addicting condiment on the individual bowls when you serve it.

Homemade Chili Crisp

homemade chili crisp ingredients on a table, top down photograph

If you prefer to make your own chili crisp (highly recommend) then this recipe is great! The only thing I don’t add that you’ll find in most southern style chili crisps are the Sichuan peppercorns. However if you like that numbing sensation then feel free to add them!


  • 1 cup Oil – soybean oil is what is most popular in China, but any neutral oil will work. I use sunflower oil as it works well too.
  • 1 tbsp Allspice – this is also known as the Jamaica pepper and resembles a large, smooth peppercorn.
  • Star Anise
  • 1 tbsp Black Peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp Calabrian Chili – chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic – thinly sliced
  • Shallot – diced
  • 10 Chile de Arbol – dried
  • Mini Sweet Peppers – you can just sub a bell pepper or other mild, fruity pepper for this ingredient.


  • 1 cup Oil – same as you used for the infused oil
  • 2 tbsp Red Chili Flakes
  • 2 tbsp Gochugaru – these are Korean chili flakes mostly used for kimchi, but they are fruity and delicious and add great flavor to this chili crisp recipe
  • Shallot – diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic – thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp Peanuts – chopped
  • 2 tsp Fish Sauce – optional
  • 1 tsp MSG – if you’re one of the people who like to pretend MSG is bad for you then feel free to leave it out or just replace it with salt

Simmer the ingredients in the ‘infused oil’ list on the lowest heat setting for about 30 minutes, or until the shallot and garlic begin to blacken. In another jar add the ‘chili crisp ingredients’ minus the fish sauce and MSG.

Once your infused oil is ready, turn up the heat to max for one minute, then strain it directly into the jar with the raw ingredients. Wait for it to cool and stir in the fish sauce and MSG. Your homemade chili crisp should keep in a fridge for up to a month.

tomato garden salad with chili crisp dressing on the side

Chili Crisp Tomato Salad

This quick and easy salad only needs four ingredients and is a great way to 'spice' up a basic garden salad.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American, American-Chinese, Asian Fusion
Servings 4 people
Calories 85 kcal


  • 1 Bowl
  • 1 Knife


  • 250 grams Cherry Tomatoes halved
  • 2 small Persian Cucumbers diced
  • 1 Red Onion halved and thinly sliced
  • 2-3 tbsp Chili Crisp either store bought or homemade


  • Add all the ingredients to a bowl and give everything a proper toss.


This salad is great served right away, but might be even better after a day in the fridge. The chili crisp infuses with the vegetables natural juices for an even bigger umami blast.
Keyword Chili Crisp, Garden Salad, Tomato Salad, Vegan, Vegetarian
tomato salad with chili crisp dressing in a bowl
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