When it comes to elevating your cooking, then one of the best ingredients you can introduce to your pantry is some delicious chili oil, which is sure to add plenty of flavor and spice to your cooking, and will help to make those normally bland dishes much more exciting.
Of course, you can purchase chili oil at your local grocery store or deli.
However, there is absolutely nothing better than making your own chili oil, and it’s much easier to do than you might initially think too.
So, if you want to learn more about chili oil, and how you can make your own chili oil at home, then this guide will provide you with all of the information you need to know.
Let’s get started!
Why Is Chili Oil So Good?
If you’re a fan of good cooking, then you’ll notice that chili oil is a commonly used ingredient, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s in noodles, fried rice, or even with your morning eggs, chili oil is an ingredient that can be used to help elevate any dish.
If you’ve ever tried making your own chili oil at home before, then you’ll know that making your own chili oil is actually slightly difficult, especially if you’re trying to replicate the delicious chili oil you enjoy at your local Chinese restaurant.
The chili oil at these restaurants is always bursting with flavor and heat, but it can be hard to get that exact viscosity and color that you expect!
Thankfully, we’ve managed to perfect the recipe, which means that you’ll be able to enjoy that restaurant-level taste from the comfort of your own home.
How To Make Chili Oil At Home
When it comes to making the best chili oil, the secret is to infuse the oil with the unique aromatic blend first, before then infusing this blend over the crushed Sichuan chili flakes.
This will lead your flakes to have a much brighter red color, and will also lead your flakes to have much less seeds than you would find in your usual Italian crushed red pepper flakes, which are usually prepared by pouring hot oil over the flakes, burning them and therefore dulling the flavor massively.
So, let’s take a look at the ingredients you’ll need in order to make your own delicious chili oil!
Here’s a quick breakdown of everything you will need in order to create the chili oil:
Oil (1 ½ to 3 cups)
When it comes to choosing an oil, you’ll want to try and opt for one of the many neutral-flavored oils out there.
This means you can choose from canola, vegetable, peanut, grapeseed, or even soybean oil.
If you can find it near you, then opting for Caiziyou oil is great, it’s related to canola oil, and allows you to achieve that traditional Chinese flavor we’re looking for.
Light olive oil is also a potential option, but it is worth noting that it is known to harden slightly in the fridge, and has a much lower smoke point than some of the other oils, so it’s more of a last resort option.
There are just four spices you’ll need to create your chili oil, which includes cinnamon sticks (1 stick), star anise (5 of them), Sichuan peppercorns (3 tablespoons), and bay leaves (2 leaves)!
Of course, you can also add some additional spices into the mix to help elevate the flavor even further, so don’t be afraid to try adding garlic, shallots, black cardamom, or even some dried sand ginger cloves.
Chili Flakes (¾ to 1 and ¼ cup)
Of course, any good chili oil needs the right chili flakes in order for it to be successful, so we’d recommend using Sichuan chili flakes to get the taste just right.
Just be sure to try to avoid regular red chili flakes as much as possible.
If you’re on something of a health kick, then the addition of salt might be slightly concerning, but it’s completely necessary in order to help bring out all of the incredible flavors from the other ingredients.
You’re also free to add in a whole load of other ingredients, including toasted sesame seeds, soy sauce, sesame oil, Chinese black vinegar, or whatever else you think will help the flavor!
Gathering all of the aromatic ingredients, add them to a pot along with your oil, ensuring that there is at least a two-inch clearance between the edge of the pot and the oil.
Begin with medium heat, before lowering it to medium-low heat once your oil reaches temperature, which should be around 220 degrees Fahrenheit, or 115 degrees Celsius.
You should notice small bubbles arising from your aromatics, but they shouldn’t be darkening too quickly. Continue this infusion for around 30 minutes to an hour.
Place your Schiuan chili flakes in a heatproof dish or bowl, and then once your oil is ready, pour the oil onto your chili flakes using a strainer to prevent any of the aromatics from falling in.
Stir the chili oil frequently to ensure that the oil is evenly distributed.
You should notice that it has a smell not too dissimilar to fresh popcorn, which is a sign that you’ve done it right!
Once stirred, add in your salt, and then allow your chili oil to cool down before pouring it into containers and placing it in your refrigerator. It should last for up to 6 months, meaning it’ll be ready for whenever you need it.
In conclusion, making your own Chinese chili oil at home is a simple and rewarding process that can add a spicy kick to any dish.
By selecting the right ingredients, toasting the spices, and carefully heating the oil, you can create a customized chili oil that suits your personal taste and preferences.
So why not try making your own Chinese chili oil at home?
- 200 grams noodles
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon chili flakes Korean
- 2 green onions chopped
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- Cook the noodles according to the package instructions until they are al dente. Drain the noodles and set them aside.
- In a pan or wok, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
- Add the chopped green onions and garlic, and cook for about 1-2 minutes until they are fragrant.
- Add the Korean chili flakes and stir for about 30 seconds.
- Add the tamari, sugar, and rice vinegar to the pan, and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the cooked noodles to the pan, and toss to coat them with the sauce.
- Serve the noodles hot, garnished with additional green onions if desired.