Salt + Spine
Salt & Spine
James Park gets spicy & saucy with his debut, Chili Crisp

James Park gets spicy & saucy with his debut, Chili Crisp

Plus: A recipe for Creamy Rigatoni with Crispy Chickpeas, Spinach, and Lemony Panko, and early-bird tickets for our Cookbook Fest!

Happy Thursday! We’re back with some new episodes—including a great chat with James Park on Chili Crisip this week—and something big we’ve been working on for a long time: Cookbook Fest! Here’s more:

» Don’t Miss Cookbook Fest! «

Don’t miss our first Cookbook Fest in downtown Napa, California this June 21-23! Join us as we bring together some of your favorite cookbook authors with your most-listened food podcasts for a day of incredible storytelling. Immerse your self in live main-stage recordings of podcasts including “The Sporkful,” “Everything Cookbooks,” and more, plus a main-stage “Last Meals” event with Mythical Chef Josh Scherer, and a multi-media showcase featuring California authors. And that’s not all! Meet dozens of authors for cookbook signings at our Book Village, pop into our studio kitchen for intimate hands-on culinary interviews, enjoy cookbook-inspired meals, learn insider knowledge in our industry salon, and more!

Confirmed speakers include (with more announced soon):

Early Bird pricing ends May 1 - grab your tickets today!

Cookbook Fest Tickets

Episode 166: James Park

This week, James Park joins us to discuss his first cookbook, Chili Crisp: 50+ Recipes to Satisfy Your Spicy, Crunchy, Garlicky Cravings.

James is a seasoned recipe developer and food writer who has been published in outlets including Eater, Food52, BuzzFeed, and Chowhound. After moving from Korea to the American South when he was 13, James began to navigate two cultural identities and continued to turn to food as a medium.

And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know chili crisp has been having a ~moment~ in the United States. While the condiment has become trendy in the US, its roots are deep in Asia and became a more steady consumer product when Lao Gan Ma began producing containers of chile crisp in China’s Guizhou province in the late 1990s. A slew of American brands have emerged with chili crisps and chili crisp-inspired products, with Cathy Erway chronicling the “cult of spicy chile crisp” for TASTE. Just this month, David Chang’s Momofuku brand drove chili crisp headlines after going after (and then backing off) companies using their trademarked term “chili crunch.”

So when James went to write his first cookbook and narrowed his focus on chili crisp, it was in sync with the zeitgeist. Though he considers himself an “unofficial chili crisp ambassador,” James didn’t discover the condiment until later in life, which allowed him to see how he could incorporate it into recipes in creative and unexpected ways.

“Chili crisp opened the door of connections with other Asian cultures for me,” James writes in Chili Crisp. “The more I tasted chili crisp, the more I appreciated it and was proud to be a part of it. It even became my pickup line when making new friends. Do you know about chili crisp? Do you like chili crisp? What's your favorite way of enjoying it? Do you want to try my chili crisp?”

In Chili Crisp, James presents recipes like:

  • Kimchi Quesadilla with Chili Crisp

  • Savory Morning Oats with Jammy Eggs and Pork Floss

  • Chili Crisp Bucatini Carbonara

  • Beef Short Ribs Ragu

  • Fiery Spaghetti and Meatballs

  • Chili Crisp Biscuits with Honey-Butter Glaze

  • Chili Crisp Ice Cream Two Ways

  • And more!

We’ve got a great chat with James—and of course, we put him to the test in our signature culinary game! Find this episode anywhere you podcast.

Chili Crisp: 50+ Recipes to Satisfy Your Spicy, Crunchy, Garlicky Cravings by James Park

If you already love chili crisp, this book is for you. If you're new to it, this book is for you. With more than 50 recipes, Chili Crisp is here for you, wherever you are on your spicy life journey.

Packed with chili crisp inspiration to take your love of this spicy ingredient to the next level, Chili Crisp provides dozens of no-recipe recipes (like potato chips and chili crisp, a match made in snack heaven) and a handy build-your-own chili crisp formula to inspire you to create your very own version. Soon all your family and friends will be clamoring for a jar.

We 💚 local bookstores. Pick up your copy of James’ Chili Crisp here:


Omnivore Books

Coming up this week: Paid subscribers to Salt + Spine will receive two recipes from James’ Chili Crisp, including:

Salt + Spine is supported by listeners like you. For this week’s recipe—plus exclusive content and hundreds of other featured recipes—become a paid subscriber today.


Salt + Spine
Salt & Spine
We tell the compelling stories behind cookbooks you won't get anywhere else. Featuring interviews with leading authors, we explore the art and craft of cookbooks, looking at both new and vintage cookbooks and the inspirations behind them … the compelling people who create them … and their impact on home cooks and the culinary world.