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Table of contents
What is Chinese Chilli Oil?
Chinese Chilli oil is a delicious, sometimes spicy, combination of oil and crispy bits that can be used as a condiment, a garnish and an ingredient.
The “crispy bits” that has resulted in the American trend of calling it chili crisp, can be just the chilli flakes or it can be nuts, seeds, onions, garlic, shrimp and dried anchovies.
I love my Chilli Crisp!
This chilli crisp is one of a few varieties of Chinese chilli oils we make at home. They last a good few months in the fridge, and so I always have at least a couple of them at hand.
What differentiates today’s recipe from the others is the addition of Sichuan peppercorns and star anise, resulting in a slightly different final flavour, beside the spice. Click here more to read about Sichuan peppercorns.
Sichuan Chilli Oil Recipe
Our recipe today is pretty straightforward to make, mine has some chilli powder to the mix for depth, something you won’t find in store bought jars.
However, we do not cook the chilli powder nor the chilli flakes, as this will result in a burnt and bitter flavour. You’ll see.
All we do is:
- simmer and steep some vegetable oil with a few ingredients – 15 minutes
- then strain over more ingredients
- store in a clean jar
How to use this Sichuan Chilli Oil?
When you want to use it, give it a stir, then scoop out some of the oil, with all the bits; I have to warn you, you’ll get addicted very quickly! You could also just scoop out the oil, if you want, to drizzle or to use as a stir fry oil. With bits or without – completely up to you, depending on your mood and what you are using it for!
In so many different ways!
- For one thing, it makes a very convenient condiment. As I cannot have a meal without some sort of spice, the Sichuan Chilli Oil makes a great flavour and spice enhancer at meal times, much like the sambal belacan does.
- I also use it in stir fries. When a recipe calls for chillies or chilli paste, just use this Sichuan Chilli Oil, with the actual oil substituting the oil in your recipe. The result is a fabulous, deep and spicy dish.
- I love to spice up mayo and aioli with this chilli oil, when using them as dips or in sandwiches.
- Speaking of sandwiches, oh man, just lightly brush your chosen bread with a layer of this Sichuan Chilli Oil, whatever filling you have, and you’ll be in heaven!
- As part of a marinade, it adds oomph to any baked or roast dish you’re planning. For eg, add a tablespoon (or more) of this to our Sichuan Roast Chicken, for an even spicier result.
- And it is also the defining ingredient of a favourite Sichuan dish called Kou Shui Ji (aka Saliva Chicken), sometimes better known as the awful sounding Saliva Chicken!
If you like the recipe, don’t forget to leave me a comment and that all important, 5-star rating! Thank you!
And if you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor, and hashtag it #linsfood
More Chilli Recipes on LinsFood
How to Make Sichuan Chilli Oil at Home
- 250 ml peanut or bland vegetable oil
- 2.5 cm ginger, sliced
- 2 star anise petals
- a small piece cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 dried whole Sichuan chillies or any other non smoked dried red chilli
- 1 Tbsp Sichuan peppercorns or powder
- 5 Tbsp chilli flakes
- 1 Tbsp hot chilli powder
- 1 tsp salt
- Cut the whole dried chillies in half, using a pair of scissors.
- Place the oil, ginger, star anise, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cut dried chillies and sichuan peppercorns in a saucepan and heat on medium-low heat.
- When the oil comes to a simmer, lower the heat right down and simmer for 15 minutes.
- While waiting, place the chilli flakes, chilli powder and salt into a bowl large enough to take the oil and set aside.
- At the end of the 15 minutes, by which time the oil has had a chance to absorb all the aromas and flavours of the aromatics and spices, turn off the heat and leave to rest for 5 minutes on the hot hob.
- Using a metal strainer (as the oil will still be hot), strain the oil into the bowl of chilli and salt mix and stir well with a metal or wooden spoon.
- Taste and add more salt, if necessary.
- Transfer to a sterile jar and when cooled to room temperature, store in the fridge for up to 6 months.