HOW TO MAKE CHILI OIL - My favorite kinda oil for all the Chinese I eat!

I purchase chili oils for all sorts of recipes. They’re pretty standard in certain parts of the world. They figure prominently in Chinese and Japanese cooking, and in many parts of Asia, although the Italians enjoy their own version as well. I like to always have a good brand on hand, but sometimes it is more efficient to make your own when you need a small batch, or even to give as a gift. Perfect for any time of year, right? Besides, making chili oil from scratch in incredibly easy, and it’s also fun to make your own variations with flavors you’ll never find anywhere else. Best to have your own chili oil recipe on hand.

THE RECIPE

First, gather up the following ingredients:

• 1 cup canola oil – or any neutral oil such as peanut oil, though yes, you CAN use Olive Oil

• 3 tablespoons crushed dried peppers

• Dash of salt if desired

• Next, add the oil, dried peppers and salt (if using) to a small pot and stir. Heat to medium-low heat and stir often for about 5 minutes.

• Do not allow the oil to smoke. If it smokes, remove it from the heat to reduce the temperature. The goal is not to boil the oil, but to slowly simmer it, allowing the flavors of the peppers to infuse it.

After 5 minutes, remove from heat and cool to room temperature. You can simmer longer to infuse even more flavor. Pour it into a bottle or jar and seal it. You can strain it if you’d like.

Other ingredients might include garlic, shallots, peppercorns, sichuan peppercorns (for a sichuan style chili oil) ginger root, soy sauce, sesame seed, bay leaves, star anise, crushed red pepper flakes, and so much more.

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