I think we can all agree that Chili Oil makes everything better. This is an easy chili oil made with a mix of chiles—gochugaru (Korean chili pepper), chili flakes, and ground sichuan peppercorns for that numbing spice. The gochugaru gives this chili oil that bright red huge and also adds a hint of sweetness while the chili flakes adds a nice texture, and the sichuan peppercorns add that distinct numbing spice you only get from these peppercorns.
Add all the dry ingredients (except the oil) in a large heatproof bowl. Mix well.
Meanwhile, heat the neutral oil in a saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles start to appear and the oil is hot, around 250F/120C. You can test the heat by dipping a wooden chopstick and it should form bubbles or you can also drop a few chili flakes to see If it immediately sizzles. If it does, it’s good to go. Turn off the heat of the pan and then immediately pour in the oil in the chili mix.
Enjoy the sizzle and then mix everything well. Taste the sediments and feel free to season with more salt and sugar to taste, if needed. If you want more spice, you can add more chili powder/gochugaru.
To store: Leave the mixture to completely cool before transferring to a jar with a lid. Seal tight and store in room temperature in a cool, dry place. Use a clean spoon every time you scoop some of the chili oil to prevent any contamination. I usually keep mine for 3 to 6 months depending on how fast I consume my chili oil.
Use for: Your favourite noodles, dipping sauce, stir-fries, and more! You can use the oil for stir-frying or even scoop up some of the sediment and use as a base for your stir-fries or other dishes.
Gochugaru is Korean Chili Powder. It has sweet notes and is a bright red color that’s also milder than other chiles in terms of spice. This is what gives the chili oil the bright red colour. I also used the finer gochugaru used for cooking since there is a gochugaru in less fine/flakes form.
You can start with 2 tbsp of gochugaru and increase to 3 tbsp if you want extra heat. It also makes the oil a lot redder so the more gochugaru, the brighter red your oil will be.
For the chili flakes, I actually just used regular chili flakes/crushed pepper. You can also use Chinese or Sichuan chili flakes if you have those.
Dried Chili Storage Tips
I actually store my dried chiles and chili powders in the freezer since I live in a very hot and humid place. I find that this helps retain freshness and the bright red color that chiles may lose overtime as it gets older.