Every Asian culture has its own iteration of chili oil. I love the aroma and extra oomph chili oil adds to any dish; however, I cannot take the heat. Since last year, I started to experiment with making my own mild version and I finally got the right chili ratio that just gives it a nice kick without making it a torture device for my mouth. Make this easy chili oil recipe today and it will become a staple in your kitchen.
Difficulty: Easy / Servings: 2.5 cups of chili oil/ Time: 1 hour
2 and 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1/3 cup of coarse Korean chili pepper flake (gochugaru)
1/3 cup of Sichuan pepper flake
5 star anise
1 cassia cinnamon stick
3 tablespoons of Sichuan peppercorn
2 black cardamon pods
1 tablespoon of sand ginger
2 teaspoons of cloves
2-3 shallots halves
4-5 crushed garlic cloves
On the lowest heat setting that you have available on your stove, simmer 5 star anise, 1 cassia cinnamon stick, 3 tablespoons of Sichuan peppercorn, 2 black cardamom pods, 1 tablespoon of sand ginger, 2 teaspoons of cloves, 3 shallots halves and 5 crushed garlic cloves with 2 and 1/2 cup of vegetable oil for 1 hour.
You can either use a thermotheter to make sure the oil remains around 200F to 250F or check to see if there are small bubbles simmering on the edges of the shallots and garlic. You don’t want large bubbles during this infusion process as that will result in the oil being too hot and will likely burn the spices.
Once the shallots and garlic turns dark golden brown, remove them from the oil. Leaving them in the oil will result in some bitterness. This usually occurs around 30-40 minutes into the simmering process. Additionally, deep fried onion and garlic are also delicious on toast as a snack while you wait for your oil to infuse.
In a heat proof bowl, mix 1/3 cup of coarse Korean chili pepper flake (gochugaru) and 1/3 cup of Sichuan pepper flake and set it aside.
After 1 hour, turn the heat to medium for approximately two to three minutes until the temperature reaches around 350F or until you see large bubbles forming. You want the oil to be hot enough so that when you pour it onto the pepper flakes, you’ll fry them and create a wonderful nutty aroma in your kitchen. This takes some practice to get the perfect timing. Don’t worry too much about this as the chili oil will still taste good as long as you don’t overheat the oil and burn it terribly.
Place a mesh strainer over the bowl to catch the aromatics. Carefully pour the hot oil over the chili powder. You should see a lot of bubbles as the hot oil fry up the chili flakes. Let it cool completely and transfer into a container. Discard the aromatics. This chili oil should be good for a month.