We made chill oil to go with our DTF egg-fried rice (check out our recipe here).
This condiment is really easy to make at home and is a perfect companion to many Asian dishes. Follow this recipe to make your own homemade chilli oil condiment.
Szechuan Peppercorn is key
The key to a good chilli oil is to use Szechuan peppercorns. We made two batches of chilli oil – one with Szechuan peppercorns (and one with regular black peppercorns).
We find the former to be more aromatic and umami-rich, as the Szechuan peppercorns give it more bite, and a hint of acid sweetness. You can find Szechuan peppercorns at your local Chinese medicinal hall. The other batch just lacked the depth, although it was still spicy.
Taking inspiration from Din Tai Fung
We developed our recipe based on DTF’s chilli oil – by way of infusing the oil with spring onion and garlic. Other traditional ingredients include ginger and dry spices such as star anise, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks; and chilli flakes.
While the traditional recipe calls for Sichuan Chinese chilli flakes, we could not find them in our area. So, we decided to substitute them with Korean chilli flakes (which we use to make kimchi) instead, and it tasted good!
This homemade chilli oil is easy to make and can be done in under 30 minutes. All we need to do is to infuse spices and aromatics in hot oil, and pour it over the chilli flakes.
Apart from being a condiment (it goes well with gyoza, aglio e olio and even KFC), chilli oil is also a key ingredient for other Asian dishes such as Mapo tofu.
There’s just something about homemade chilli oil with its exuberant deep red colour, and rich flavours. When stored in the fridge, the chilli oil can last up to 6 months.
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Homemade Chilli Oil [Recipe]Course: Condiment, SauceCuisine: Chinese, TaiwaneseDifficulty: Easy
Here’s our homemade chilli oil inspired by the one served at Din Tai Fung.
2 cups vegetable oil – (500ml)
3-inch ginger, sliced thinly
4 spring onion stalks, white part only
4 garlic cloves, peeled
- Dry spices
4 star anises
1 cinnamon stick
3 dried bay leaves
4 cardamom pods
3 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns
10 tbsp Chinese chilli flakes (or Korean chilli flakes)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- Fry all the dry spices in a pan without oil until fragrant. Remove when done.
- Heat up cooking oil in a saucepan over high heat. When it is hot enough (ginger sizzles when placed in oil), reduce to low heat and add the aromatics. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the dry spices into the saucepan. The heat should be enough for the spices to sizzle and bubble. Cook for 10 minutes to allow spices to infuse. Remove and let it cool down for 5 minutes.
- Place chilli flakes and salt in a heat-proof bowl or jar. Strain the cooking oil over the chilli salt mix.
- Add toasted sesame seeds and mix well. Also add back cinnamon stick, some cardamom pods and bay leaves into the oil mix.
- Let it cool down and store in an airtight jar. Store in refrigerator and use within 6 months.