To welcome the start of the Year of the Ox, we’ve partnered with New York City–based Junzi Kitchen, a modern fast-casual concept that makes authentic, everyday Chinese food accessible, on a limited-edition set of three chili oils.
Perfect for gifting, the set comes with three mouth-watering flavors: Junzi Kitchen’s Original Chili Oil, made with Tianjin chili flakes, Sichuan peppercorns, and cayenne peppers, along with two new flavors created especially for us by Chef Lucas Sin: Silk Road Chili Oil and Red Lantern Chili Oil.
According to Chef Sin, “Most people know and love chili oil, but only a few realize the regional diversity in the way chili oil is made. Chili oil from different parts of China is cooked in different ways for different uses. Some are used for cooking, and others as finishing relishes. They all have different textures and flavors. So, we’re approaching this collaboration via that regional lens.”
Describing the two new Met-only flavors, Chef Sin adds, “One of them will be more clean, spicy, and numbing in flavor. The other one might be a bit more complex with savory notes from fermented black beans and fermented chilies.”
Each jar in the set features an image of a splendid carved jade ox or water buffalo—both representative of the bovine family that the Chinese refer to as Ox—from The Met collection. You can see these artworks and others, including a large 18th-century jade sculpture of a water buffalo and an extraordinary 8th-century set of ceramic Chinese zodiac figures, in the Museum’s Year of the Ox exhibition, on view at The Met Fifth Avenue through January 17, 2022.
The limited-edition set is currently available at Junzi Kitchen’s online shop and will be coming to The Met Store at the end of this month. Proceeds from the sales of the sets support the Museum and its mission.