Besides just have simply the cutest name, Purple Panda Oil puts a twist on traditional Sichuan chili oils by blending the perfect mix of spiciness, smokiness and flavor. Each batch of Purple Panda is hand made and infused with only the best chilis and spices which can be used as a cooking oil or as a condiment. Each jar of Purple Panda is hand made in small batches, numbered, and bottled in the City of Angels.
Purple Panda was originally created as a condiment for phó. But the story behind Purple Panda is a great one.
The creator of Purple Panda, Steven Boghoskhan, isn’t a 3 star Michelin chef. He isn’t a culinary expert specializing in the ancient methods of Sichuan cooking. Heck, he hasn’t even been to China. He’s just an Iron Chef watching, Anthony Bourdain reading, amateur cooking enthusiast.
Here’s the story from Steven about how Purple Panda came into existence.
“The story behind Panda goes like this. My buddy used to take me to this pho place named Simply Pho You in Korea town (Los Angeles). The Pho was ok, but their homemade chili oil was amazing. l had never had chili oil before that and was hooked. One day we went in and they told us that they no longer were serving it. I couldn’t have pho without it, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I started scouring the internet looking for recipes, techniques and whatever else I could find to make my own. After a bunch of failed batches, I kept at it and tweaked my recipe until Purple Panda was born. I now was taking a jar with me to all the pho spots in LA with no intentions of ever starting a business.
My friends were really digging it, and so were strangers I was offering it to at restaurants, so I thought to myself why not try and market/sell it? I wasn’t in the food business and had no idea what I was doing or getting myself into, but thought, “why not give it go?”
I’m an editor and a musician, so I come from a creative background. I knew chili oil came from the Sichuan region of China, and while doing research, found out that pretty much all the pandas in the world come from Sichuan as well. It was a no brainer to use that in the brand. Purple is the color of royalty and rolled off the tongue quite nicely when paired with panda. So I went with Purple Panda. King of the chili oil. That’s where I was going with it. I had an idea for the logo that was loosely based on the famous Biggie Smalls portrait with the crown. I pitched it to a local artist, and he drew up a few mocks that eventually developed into the logo. I designed everything else myself, from the labels to the website, and have been a 1 man show every since. We’ve been around for a little over 2 years and are getting more popular among hot sauce lovers. I’m still learning and have quite a bit more to go, but I want to open people’s eyes to chili oil the way mine were opened by that small pho spot in Korea town.”
Purple Panda Chili Oil can be used in & on everything from soups to rice dishes, to sauces, to pizza, to breakfast foods. Use it as a condiment, a dip, a glaze, as a cooking oil. Get creative. The possibilities are endless.
Taste & Smell: I popped open the jar of Purple Panda and immediately I was in love. I smelled the wonderful sesame oil infused with delicious chiles. I mean, those are pretty much my two favorite things.
I love cooking many cuisines from all over the world, from Italian, to Thai, to Indian, to Greek. Many of my favorite dishes to make (or order) are Asian dishes. Purple Panda Chili Oil is perfect drizzled over pho, really in any soup, add it to fried rice, or even in cauliflower fried rice, for those Paleo folks out there. Of course it’s perfect for stir fry. Brush it on roasted veggies. There are so many uses for this oil.
So let’s say you don’t cook, but you’re looking to impress guests coming over this weekend. Grab a French roll from the grocery store, slice it up and serve it with Purple Panda dipping oil. Your guests will flip!
Bone broth drinkers, add a little to your cup of bone broth. Yum!