If you're looking for a way to elevate your meals and turn a boring bowl of rice into a flavorful dish, this homemade chili oil is the way to do it.
Made with Szechuan chili flakes, aromatics such as garlic, fennel, and coriander, this sauce is a staple in my kitchen.
I use this chili oil on a lot of dishes. Between noodles, stir-fries, and rice dishes, this chili oil adds a fiery kick and depth of flavor that can add so much flavor and spice.
The possibilities are endless and this article will break down how to make a homemade chili oil that is flavorful, numbing, and addictively spicy.
How to build the perfect chili oil sauce?
First and foremost, the quality of the chili peppers used is essential since it is, the star ingredient.
For this recipe, I am using Szechuan chili peppers. These peppers are known for their distinct flavor and fiery heat, making them ideal for creating an exceptional chili oil sauce.
Next, the choice of oil significantly impacts the flavor profile of the sauce.
A neutral high-heat oil, like avocado, canola, or sunflower oil, works best as a base.
This type of oil allows the flavors of the chili peppers to shine through without overpowering them.
For a flavorful chili oil, incorporating aromatic ingredients is crucial.
Garlic, shallots, ginger are classic additions that bring depth and complexity to the sauce.
Fragrant spices like coriander or star anise can further enhance the flavor profile, adding a hint of intrigue to the sauce.
The key to a great chili oil sauce is achieving the perfect balance of heat, sweetness, and saltiness.
Balancing the spiciness of the chili peppers with a touch of sweetness, such as adding a bit of brown sugar or honey, helps to mellow the heat and create a more nuanced flavor.
Additionally, incorporating the right amount of salt is essential to balance out the strong flavors.
Allowing the flavors to meld together and develop intensifies the richness and complexity of the chili oil sauce.
For this recipe, we let the sauce infuse overnight, allowing the oils to absorb the flavors of the ingredients.
Ways to use chili oil
Drizzle chili oil over your favorite dishes to instantly elevate their flavor.
Whether it's a bowl of noodles, dumplings, stir-fried vegetables, or grilled meats, a few drops of chili oil can add a flavorful kick and enhance the overall taste.
Create flavorful marinades by using chili oil as a base.
Combine it with ingredients like soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and citrus to infuse meats, poultry, seafood, tofu, or vegetables.
Dressings and Sauces
Incorporate chili oil into dressings and sauces for a spicy and aromatic twist.
Blend it with ingredients such as soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and herbs to create tangy dressings for salads or use it as a glaze for roasted vegetables.
Dips and Spreads
Combine chili oil with mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, or cream cheese to create flavorful dips and spreads.
Perfect for pairing with spring rolls, dumplings, grilled meats, or spreading on sandwiches or crackers.
Soups and Stews
One of my favorite uses is adding to soups and stews. Whether it's a comforting bowl of ramen or an easy one pot pasta, a dash of chili oil can really elevate the overall dish.
How is chili oil made Around the world?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Is Chili Oil Really Spicy?
Yes, chili oil is known for its spiciness.
The level of spiciness can vary depending on the type and amount of chili peppers used. Szechuan chili flakes, commonly used in chili oil, are known for their heat.
However, the spiciness can be adjusted by using less chili flakes or opting for milder chili varieties.
What Does Chili Oil Taste Like?
The taste of chili oil varies depending on the spices used.
It typically combines spiciness from the chili peppers, a nutty taste from the toasted seeds, a subtle hint of garlic, and sometimes additional flavors from spices like Szechuan peppercorns or sesame seeds.
The specific taste may vary based on the ingredients and recipe used.
Can You Make Chili Oil Less Spicy?
Yes, you can make chili oil less spicy by adjusting the amount of chili flakes or using milder chili varieties.
If you prefer a milder flavor, reduce the quantity of chili flakes when preparing the oil.
You can also consider removing the seeds from the chili peppers, as they contain most of the heat.
Should You Refrigerate Chili Oil?
Chili oil can be stored at room temperature in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight. It does not require refrigeration.
However, refrigerating chili oil can help prolong its shelf life, especially in warmer climates. If you choose to refrigerate it, ensure the oil is stored in an airtight container to prevent absorption of other flavors in the refrigerator.
Remember to bring it back to room temperature before using to restore its original consistency.
What Is Chinese Chili Oil Made Of?
Chinese chili oil typically consists of oil (commonly sesame oil or vegetable oil) infused with dried chili flakes or whole dried chili peppers, along with additional spices like Szechuan peppercorns, garlic, ginger, and sometimes fermented soybeans or other flavorings.
The ingredients are heated together to infuse the oil with the flavors of the chili and other spices.
Is Chili Oil Sauce Healthy?
The healthiness of chili oil sauce depends on the ingredients and the quantity consumed.
Chili oil itself is a calorie-dense food due to its high oil content. However, it can also contain beneficial compounds like capsaicin, which may have health benefits such as reducing inflammation and boosting metabolism.
It is important to moderate your consumption of chili oil sauce due to its high oil content and adjust the amount according to your dietary needs and preferences.
Homemade Chili Oil Sauce Recipe
- 1.25 cups avocado oil
- 1 cup szechuan chili flakes
- 2 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon white pepper
- 1 tablespoon star anise
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon peanuts
- ½ cup dehydrated shiitake mushrooms
- ½ tablespoon brown sugar or cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 cloves garlic peeled
- Heat the avocado oil in a saucepan over low heat until it reaches a temperature of about 200°F (93°C). Maintain this temperature throughout the process.
- While the oil is heating, prepare the other ingredients. In a bowl, combine the Szechuan chili flakes, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, white pepper, star anise, sesame seeds, peanuts, dehydrated shiitake mushrooms, brown sugar, salt, and the peeled cloves from the head of garlic.
- Once the oil has reached the desired temperature, remove it from heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
- After the oil has cooled slightly, pour it into the bowl with the other ingredients.
- Rest overnight to allow the flavors to meld together.
- After 1 day, use an immersion blender, blend the mixture until all the ingredients are well combined and you have a smooth consistency. Make sure to fully immerse the blender in the mixture while blending.
- After emulsified, you can start using the chili oil sauce in your favorite dishes. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to several months.
- Note: The longer you let the chili oil sauce sit, the more intense the flavors will become. Adjust the amount of chili flakes to your desired level of spiciness.
For quick and flavorful weeknight dinners, you'll want to make this delicious chili oil sauce that brings together the vibrant flavors of Szechuan chili peppers and aromatic spices.