Heat. Just Heat. Not sweet. Not salty. It’s not even a flavor really. Remember there are 5: sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami. The Hot flavor stands alone. And for me it brings out all the other flavors in interesting and sometimes painful ways.
To make Chili Oil at home, take a neutral oil and heat it up to 350°. Then add cinnamon, star anise, and cloves as a base. Strain out and raise temp to 375°. Turn off heat and add Korean Chili Flakes, Szechuan Peppercorn, Ginger, and other flavors). Let cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Right now Homemade Chili Oil is all over Tik Tok, Instagram and Youtube. Jon Kung, Chefs like Joshua Weissman, and CJ Eats. This sauce is everywhere right now, so I thought I’d make it and see if it lives up.
Let me tell you that it does!
I had some of the elements in my spice drawer, but for a few I had to go to my specialty Asian Grocer to get them.
Did I say it was totally worth it? I forget.
Invest in the spices, and if you don’t have one, a good mortar and pestle to grind them up in. You can use a food processor, or even a blender. Somehow the hand grinding does something different to them, something old-worldly that enhances and blends in magical ways.
What I love about this sauce
It’s all heat.
And it goes on just about everything. Eggs, Pastas, Veggie Hot Dogs. The only thing I haven’t put it on is Popcorn, but I think that is next.
Its gluten free. It’s vegan. And it doesn’t have to be refrigerated.
I do keep mine in the fridge for regular storage. Homemade Hot Sauce lasts for over a month in a sealed jar in the fridge. But in my kitchen it doesn’t last this long because I use it eveywhere!
The Special Detail
Hand grinding the spices with a stone mortar and pestle.
Also be sure to use a very “neutral” oil, and one that has a higher smoke point. I like Grapeseed oil. And I don’t go for the fancy pricy one. Just a regular one. Cause if you are like me you will be making this a lot
Substitutions and alterations
Some people choose to leave out the first step of cinnamon, star anise, and cloves. This is an aromatic layer of flavors that I think makes it a more complex and traditional chili oil. But you can omit this step if you want.
Also, you can add more spices during the second step. Things like Cumin, Coriander, and even hot peppers (like a ghost or carolina reaper). This is the way some famous YouTube chefs do it. I can’t claim it’s my recipe. But I have adjusted the amounts to my taste.
Also I don’t really make it the same way each time. I add a little more of this, or take out that and substitute in something else. Whatever I have on hand, or feel like
Gluten Free option – yes
Vegan Option -yes
Carnivore Option – yes
Homemade Chili Oil Goes with
Everything. ~ Seriously ~
Homemade Chili Oil
- 1 qt Oil Grapeseed or other neutral flavor high smoke point
- 6 Star Anise
- 6 Cloves
- 1 stick Cinnamon
- 20 g ginger freshly grated
- 1/3 c Szechuan Peppercorn
- 1/2 c Korean Chili Flakes
- 1/4 c sesame seets
- 1/4 c peanuts
- Heat oil to 300° in a large pot on stove
- Grind Add star anise, cloves, cinnamon and ginger in a mortar and pestle.
- Add to hot oil, be careful not to burn spices. Adjust the temperature as needed.
- Cook for 10-12 minutes.
- Scoop out the first batch of spices
- Grind Szechuan Peppercorn, Korean Chili Flakes, peanuts and sesame in mortal and pestle – don’t add to oil just yet.
- Adjust oil temperature to 350-375.
- Once oil reaches the temperature, turn off and then add second batch of spices
- Let spices sit in the oil as it cools.
- Transfer to storage jar – keep at in fridge temp and seal when not used.
As with all recipes, think of this as a guide. Adjust the amounts and even the ingredients up or down, in and out as you need. Or to what you have on hand.
Let me know if you have made your own chili oil at home. How hot do you like it 🌶 ?
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