Chili oil is finally gaining popularity worldwide, and we can’t help but wonder what took it so long. For those of you not familiar with this condiment; it’s simply a neutral oil infused with beautiful aromatics and chilies. There is no one fixed recipe for chili oil and you can transform any recipe to suit your taste. We must say though we are very partial to this one. Especially for the Sichuan pepper. If you have never had Sichuan pepper get ready to have your mind blown. It’s a small round Chinese spice with a pinkish reddish hue. The flavor profile is out of this world we have never had anything quite like it. The best way to describe its tastes and smells: it’s as if a black pepper a citrus fruit and a flower had a baby.
Why do we think you should try and make chili oil this week?
- Chili oil elevates every ordinary ingredient or meal. Labneh? Add some chili oil. Boiled egg? Heavenly! It also works wonders with rice, meat, chicken, shakshouka, and even on a focaccia slice. The other day I caught Dalya dipping some crisps in chili oil!
- It’s QUICK! Takes about 10 minutes to make and the flavor explosion this adds to your food is well worth the time.
- You will find most of the ingredients in your pantry. But the rarer herbs and spices you do purchase for the recipe have a long shelf life and are easily storable.
- It makes a great gift for friends and family!
Chili oil has three basic ingredients; vegetable oil, chillies, and aromatics.
The Oil: Ideally you should be looking for a neutral-flavored oil. Things like, vegetable, canola, peanut, or grapeseed work well. Avoid olive oil or coconut oil for their strong flavor profiles.
The Chilies: You can easily find crushed dried chili flakes anywhere but we ask you to take your time and buy the right kind. Regular Italian crushed pepper flakes will still work, but you will miss out on the deep red color as well as the intense flavor that Asian chili flakes impart. Head to an Asian specialty store, you are more likely to find high-quality crushed chili flakes that will bloom in your infused oil without burning its edges. If you are in Dubai 1004 Gourment is our go-to one-stop-shop for all Asian ingredients.
Aromatics: The sky is the limit on this one. Feel free to add or remove any aromatics you like or don’t like. Any of the below would work, experiment and chose the flavor notes you enjoy most:
- Cinnamon Stick
- Dried ginger
- Star Anise
- Black Sesame Seeds
Things to keep in mind
- We use 4 different kinds of chilies in our recipe, feel free to adjust the type and amount to your heat tolerance. The bird’s eye chilies for example can be super hot so you can cut that in half. One we implore you to search for and not leave out is the Sichuan peppercorns. They are hard to find but are worth the extra search. We have only been able to find them at Spinny’s
- Use a glass jar with an airtight seal that can withstand high heat. A mason or pickle jar works well. Make sure it can hold about 2 cups of liquid because this will bubble up when adding the hot oil. BONUS: The chili oil looks fabulous in these transparent jars and works great for gifting to your loved ones.
- Do not overheat the oil. If you have a kitchen thermometer then pour the oil on top of the ingredients when it reaches 110°C-120°C degrees and not more to avoid over toasting the aromatics. If your working without a thermometer test the oil by adding a piece of minced garlic if it sizzles its ready. Remember we want to infuse the oil and not cook the ingredients in it
What you will need
How to make chili oil
Three easy steps; put your dry ingredients into a jar, heat up the oil with some bouillon, and finally pour your sizzling oil into your new jar of happiness. Some details on how this goes below.
In a heatproof jar that can hold 2 cups of liquid, place the finely minced head of garlic + 2 tbsp of dried chili flakes + 1.5 tbsp crushed Sichuan peppers + 2 bay leaves + 1 tsp coriander + 1.5 tbsp soy sauce + 1 tbsp sesame seeds + 3 ground fresh bird’s eye chilies + 5 broken up dried chilies + 1/2 tsp sugar.
Heat 1 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan (preferably with a spout for easy pouring), sprinkle 3/4 of a bouillon cube into the oil, and let it cook until dissolved.
With the oil around and not exceeding 110°C-120°C slowly and carefully pour over the aromatics.
Leave the lid off until the oil cools off completely. After two hours you will find the oil has transformed into the prettiest deepest red you have ever seen.
This Garlic Chili Oil is a game changer. Drizzle it on anything for some seriously delicious heat.
If you try this Garlic Chili Oil, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #thetablediaries on Instagram. We love seeing all the recipes you and your family enjoy.
Garlic Chili Oil
- 1 ½ cups neutral oil (we used canola)
- 2 tbsp chili flakes high quality (Asian supermarkets)
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 bay leaf
- 5 dried chilies broken apart
- 3 fresh Thai chilies ground
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 ½ tbsp ground Sichuan Peppercorns
- 1 head garlic minced
- ½ tsp sugar
- ¾ bouillon cube (chicken or vegetable)
- 1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
- Heat your oil on low heat.
- While your oil is heating, prepare all your ingredients and place them in a clean sterilized airtight container with a lid. (make sure your jar can hold around 2 cups of liquid to leave room for when the oil bubble ups)
- Add your 3/4 bouillon cube to the oil, and mix until dissolved.
- Check the temperature of the oil with a thermometer, once it reaches 110°C-120°C slowly and carefully pour hot oil over the ingredients in the jar. Be very careful here the mixture will bubble up.
- Let cool, close, and store in your fridge for 2-3 weeks.