One of my favourite condiments to make is chili oil because I love being able to customise what goes in to suit my taste. You can use this for anything and everything — think dipping sauces, over noodles, stir-fries, tofu dishes, salads, and more!
You can watch the video for a complete step-by-step.
For the chiles and garlic, you can mince or crush these. I roughly cut mine up using a pair of scissors and pounded these using a mortar and pestle. You can add yours to a food processor and process until minced.
Add the minced/processed garlic and chiles in a heat proof bowl or a clean dry jar. Add in the 5 spice powder (if using), gochugaru or other chili powder.
Spices and oil: Over medium heat, add the spices and salt in a small sauce pan. Add in the neutral oil. Leave over medium heat for the oil to heat up and come to temperature, around 120C. Once small bubbles start to appear and you see the spices start to sizzle in the oil, you can lower the heat to low and keep it at a constant temperature to be sure the spices don't burn.Leave for around 20-30 minutes to allow the spices to slowly infuse the flavours in the oil. You can infuse the spices longer (up 40 mins) for optimal flavour. Ensure that the salt dissolves in the oil.
After the spices infuse in the oil, increase the heat back to medium or medium high for 1-2 minutes. The oil should be very hot at this point. To test out the heat, you can add a small piece of garlic or chili and it should immediately sizzle in the oil when added. Turn off the heat.
You can remove the spices in the oil or prepare a sieve over your bowl/bottle. Be careful with the hot oil.
Pour the hot oil over the chiles, garlic, and seasoning. Enjoy the sizzle! Taste your chili oil and feel free to season with more salt, if desired.Mix well and allow to cool completely before covering the jar.
To store, you can refrigerate it to prolong shelf life and just scoop some out at room temperature since the oils can solidiy. This is best enjoyed within a month.I go through this so fast though so it never really lasts that long. Be sure that all the chiles and garlic pieces are submerged in the oil.Also ensure that the jar is sealed tight.
Be sure to use a clean spoon or utensil every time you scoop some chili oil to prevent contamination and spoilage.
How to Enjoy
Use this with your favourite dipping sauces, noodles, stir-fries, salads, cold tofu, and more!
I recommend to use neutral oil that won’t overpower the overall flavour of this chili oil. Grapeseed, vegetable, peanut oils would be great.
5 Spice Powder
For the 5 spice powder, you can substitute this with a pinch each of cinnamon powder and ground white pepper. Szechuan pepper powder would be a great too, if you have some! Or if you have whole ones, you can crush some.
I use gocghugaru or Korean chili powder that’s mild in spice and has a sweet note. You can use other chill powder.
Can I use dried chiles?
Yes! I recommend to mix up your chiles if you have access to a variety. I really love to use gochugaru or Korean chili pepper because of its bright red hue and its hint of sweetness.