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Serves : 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. Delicious, Quick Side Dishes

How to Make It

Step 1    

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.

Step 2    

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

Make Ahead

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

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