There is truth in advertising with this product name, as this Wild Mushroom Chunky Chili Sauce is truly more of a sauce than a chili oil—thicker, chewier and, indeed, chunkier, even though it is a Sichuan-style oil-based sauce. Similarly, while it also features hot chilies and fermented soybeans, its defining taste is the titular wild mushrooms, namely varieties of shiitake and porcini from the mountains of Yunnan.
All of that together makes it an umami powerhouse condiment—similar yet distinctly different from chili oil and chili crisp. Its combination of mushrooms, heat and just a tinge of sweet enlivens any milder dish in sight: rice, noodles, congee, tofu and steamed or fried egg are just the start.
Wild Mushroom Chunky Chili Sauce also has an interesting origin story. The brand is named after the "Hot Pot Queen" of Chongqing, a founding mother of the hot pot scene in the birthplace of mala hot pot. He Yongzhi opened her first small hot pot restaurant with three tables in 1982 and then grew Little Swan into one of the largest and most esteemed hot pot chains in China. She is even credited with inventing the two-compartment, two-broth hot pot!
He's Millennial daughter, Jia Liao, has now brought her mother's legacy to America under the Hot Pot Queen brand, positioning classic Chongqing flavors for a new country and new generation of burgeoning mala fans.
Note that while jars of artisan chili oil are shrinking to around 5-6 ounces on average in the U.S., this jar is a generous 10.6 ounces. No need to ration this addictive sauce!
Also note, it's gluten-free!