Whoa F*ck Dressing, 7p

A dark and ominous salty sweet kicking joyride for my tastebuds that absolutely deserves its profane name...

A dark and ominous salty sweet kicking joyride for my tastebuds that absolutely deserves its profane name…

This came about as most of my favourite things do, with a musing to myself about something I’d eaten recently and a wonder if I could recreate something like it. The ‘something’ in this case was a jar of Tonkotsu’s ‘Eat The Bits’ chilli oil given to us by Emma Reynolds of Tonkotsu fame, but it was polished off weeks ago and all I could remember was the sheer amount of chilli flakes suspended in a sesame oil dressing. Undettered, I threw lots of things I like into a jar and shook the hell out of it, and ended up here, exclaiming profanities out loud as I dipped a spoon in and my tastebuds shot off on an exuberant joyride. Sweet, salty, spicy, this made my eyes pop and my tongue sing, and I instantly spooned it over a soft-boiled egg for a sensational snack. It’s hot, but not unbearably so. And I imagine it will only improve with a spell in the fridge to settle and develop, too…

Makes 12 x 1tbsp servings at 7p each

1 tsp dried chilli flakes (3g), 3p
2 fat cloves of garlic, 3p
2 tbsp mirin (or white wine vinegar with ½ tsp sugar), 36p
1 tbsp soy sauce, 10p
40ml groundnut or sesame oil, 13p
100ml sunflower oil, 13p
a pinch of salt <1p

Peel and finely mince your garlic cloves and toss into a jar with the dried chilli flakes. Add the mirin (or white wine vinegar and sugar), soy sauce, and oils. Screw the lid on tight and shake it well. Season to taste, and adjust accordingly – if it’s too acidic for your liking, add another splash of oil. If it’s not harsh enough, another drop of vinegar – dressings are curious beasts and we all taste them slightly differently, so use my list as a guide but don’t beat yourself up if you deviate. And that’s it. Store in the fridge as there’s scaremongering about botulism re things stored in oil, and you can’t be too careful. Says me with the three day old stock in the previous post.

All ingredients purchased at Sainsburys with the exception of dried chillies, which I picked up in my local Tesco Express for far cheaper than the Sainsbugs offering…

Tesco East End Chilli flakes 75p/75g. Sainsburys basics garlic 35p/2 bulbs. Sainsburys Mirin £1.79/150ml. Sainsburys light soy sauce 95p/150ml. Sainsburys groundnut oil £1.65/500ml. Sainsburys sunflower oil £4/3l. Sainsburys Basics table salt 25p/750g.

Jack Monroe. I’m on Twitter and Instagram @MsJackMonroe. If you like this then there’s a few hundred other recipes on this here blog, and books available to buy from lots of places but do consider supporting independent book shops and small businesses by buying from Hive Stores; check them out here: http://www.hive.co.uk/book/a-girl-called-jack-100-delicious-budget-recipes/18105011/


  1. I’m intolerant of chilli – I love it but it doesn’t love me – and so I make something similar with ginger instead of chilli. I put in more sugar, and use olive oil. It’s one of those things you can make a thousand times and it tastes a little different each time. Easy to make variants too – lime juice instead of vinegar, with pickled pepper, or additional spices. I’ve never thought of putting it on boiled egg though! That’s genius.

  2. You do realize how well this fits in the FUKIP series , right?

    Aside from salt, is there anything in it considered a basic English food?

    Just thought I would mention it. If you don’t want to ride that horse far, OK.

  3. One word of caution about using chilli: if you’re making a chilli sauce and decide to strain out the bits left in using a muslin, don’t be foolish enough to squeeze the muslin with bare hands to get the last drops of sauce out, especially if you’ve been using habanero chilli … no combination of soap/solvents washes the burns off, my hands were still burning when I gave up trying at midnight, and still tingled the following morning.

  4. Lovely. Just as a food safety person in my real life, it’s not scaremongering re flavoured oils; genuine risk, especially if you use fresh herbs, garlic, chilli etc. It just worries me when I hear someone saying things are scaremongering which aren’t.

      • Hi, I guess you never got round to it? Well here is a reference from the institute of food research on the risks of botulism in food: http://www.ifr.ac.uk/safety/Final_project_report0707.pdf

        The applicable section is: “Since packing under an atmosphere containing oxygen (such as air) cannot be relied on to
        prevent growth and toxin formation by non-proteolytic C. botulinum, there are other product
        types for which non-proteolytic C. botulinum can be considered a potential hazard unless
        effective CCPs are in place:

        • Herbs/vegetables in oil”

        I know of many retailers who would love to sell these kind of products as there is a demand but they are so risky that people struggle to make them safely.

  5. I’ve never spotted sesame oil in any supermarket and wonder how easily available it is. Have you managed to find it that way – or was it already in the larder when you came up with this recipe?

    • Sesame oil is readily available in supermarkets these days – look around near the soy sauce. But as Jess says Asian mini-markets can’t be beaten for value.

  6. DianaW Are you in the UK? I buy it in Lidl (or L’dell as I call it) when it arrives during occasional promotions x

  7. A couple of thoughts on this

    First of all, try using fresh chilies. They’re easily available in most places now, and can be bought in minuscule (or otherwise) quantities from your local grocer. Any excess can be left on the windowsill to dry naturally.

    When handling them, hold them by the stalk and you will avoid Heidi and jd’s ‘problems’

    And if one gets them on one’s hands, milk or yogurt are perfect antidotes

    @Fee Berry is also smart about using ginger as a replacement for chilies for those who are intolerant of the heat. Galangal also offers another alternative.

    Needless to say, both are better used fresh rather than pasted or powdered, and can also be found much cheaper in local grocers than in supermarkets.

    Finally, sesame oil can be bought from any Chinese/ Korean/ Thai corner shop in large bottles, and, again, much cheaper than multiples sell it

  8. I chucked a load of this into a home-made ‘potnoodle’ (noodle nest, half a stock cube and chopped veggies in a glass jar- fill with boiling water at work!) and it was amazing! I would definitely recommend this as a cheap lunch to chuck together before work in the morning, it’s really quick and you can use up lingering left over veg too, this dressing gives it the best kick, thanks a million!!!!

  9. I’m a pure wimp when it comes to heat. Could I sub like – oh, I don’t know – cumin, or something else for the chili flakes? I might just try this without the chili flakes and see if it’s okay. All of these ramen-ish recipes I’ve been seeing lately have really made me want to make some! Eggs and spinach and noodles and broth. Nom, nom, nom. Now, to just try to get the kids to effing eat it, as they’ve been spoiled by school making them like sweet, empty calorie carb snacks and meals. FML.

    Thanks, Jack, for your blog. I recently found it via reddit’s cheap and healthy sub. You’re a beautiful soul! 🙂 <3

  10. Hi Can anyone recommend a substitute for the sesame/groundnut oil? Could Olive oil be used instead and could veg oil be used instead of sunflower oil. I only ask as I am trying to use the ingredients I already have in my cupboards to keep the cost down. Thanks in advance

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