Huong Doan is a home cook, a lover of food, and she makes some bomb ass chilli oil—literally. During the pandemic, Doan focused her love of homemade condiments and started selling Bomb Ass Chilli Oil, also known as BACO. According to Doan, it’s pronounced Bae-Koh, meaning before anything else and a term of endearment for something or someone you love.
“I have a sauce addiction,” says Doan. “I love making my own sauces including chimichurri, salsa verde, and dipping sauces.”
Hailing from a Vietnamese background, chilli oil was never something she or her parents used in cooking, so when Doan’s mother gave her a big bag of chillis, she decided to make chilli oil.
“When my mum gave me chillis, I had no idea what to do with it. I started making chilli oil and at first, I gave jars to friends and family, but then my friends wanted it for their friends, and it grew,” says Doan.
Doan posted the chilli oil making process on her personal Instagram account and saw the demand for the product. Although, this was before the pandemic happened, so Doan didn’t think much of it.
During the lockdown, she had more time on her hands and decided to hone in on the recipe and turned her passion for cooking and sauces into a business.
“In my family dinner is the most important time of the day, because it’s a time where mum would gather the kids, regardless of how busy we were, and we would all eat together. We weren’t allowed to watch TV or look at our phones, it was a time to eat together.”
“Because of the pandemic, we couldn’t see each other, so I shared my chilli oil, giving some to my mum and other family members. In a way, we stayed connected through it,” says Doan.
Her mother didn’t know what chilli oil was, because chilli oil is Italian. So when Doan gave her mum the condiment, she advised her to put it in everything, eggs, pho, and other dishes.
“Asian mothers don’t give verbal recognition, but the moment I knew she approved was when she asked for five jars so she could give them to her friends. That’s when I knew she loved it,” says Doan.
The chilli oil itself takes days to make, as it needs time to infuse and get the aromatics and full flavour of the ingredients—the good stuff. According to Doan, the best part of the chilli oil is the bits down the bottom, it’s where you get the full experience.
Her chilli oil is MSG-free and full of yummy aromatics, including garlic, shallots, several varieties of onions, ginger and spices, mixed with a secret chilli concoction. If you can handle heat, then BACO is for you. On the jar, you will find, an acronym R.S.L, which translates to ‘ring sting level’, an indication of how spicy this stuff really is.
“I wanted to make something yummy and spicy, not just chemical tasting, ass burning spice, but good potent spice,” says Doan.
Since launching HD Foods in September, Doan explained she is currently trialling and testing a few other condiments to add to her range.
“I would love for Bomb Ass Chilli Oil to be on supermarket shelves. Right now, we’ve just moved into a commercial kitchen in North Melbourne to keep up with the demand. We secured our first docket, a cafe stocking BACO, and we have plenty more docket requests, so now that we have the space and equipment, we will be looking to fulfil those,” says Doan.
If you’re looking to get your hands on some bomb ass chilli oil, head to the HD Foods website. A 270ml jar is $15.
The cold weather in most parts of Australia coinciding with EOFY celebrations is the closest thing that we’ll get to snowy Christmas vibes. And if you’re in dire need of some festive cheer after the first six months of 2023, grab your ugly sweater and head to your nearest Red Rooster for Xmas in July deals.
From June 29 – July 31, 2023, Red Rooster is serving up free food items, a chance to win $10,000 or one of 10 merch packs valued at $400 and other fun prizes. All you have to do is sign up as a Red Royalty member and spend $5 on at a location near you or online.
Each week there’ll be new delicious deals and prizes to win. The week one deals have already dropped and they’re looking pretty tasty. You can get access to them via your Red Royalty account. The more you purchase, the more chances you have to win.
Spoiler alert: you can get 10 chicken nuggets for free, right now. Brb running to Red Rooster.