Lately I’m in love with Sichuan-style roasted chili oil – a little obsessed, in fact. Roasted chili oil (or toasted chili oil) has a complex, toasted chili flavor that’s mellow and not acidic. Sometimes I buy roasted chili oil from my local gourmet supermarket, but it’s expensive and hard to find. I decided to try making my own, so I would never run out. I eat it with scrambled eggs, roasted vegetables and potatoes. It’s also fantastic with our 10-Minute Wonton Soup, Crock-Pot Honey Balsamic Chicken, Korean Beef and Noodle Stir-Fry and Easy Homemade Kung Pao Chicken.
For this sauce, you need about a cup of medium-hot dried chiles. I used Japones, but you could also use Chiles de Arbol or Guajillos. Remove any green tops that might remain on the chiles, and grind them into small flakes in a food processor or blender. Be careful not to touch your nose or eyes when working with chiles, and wash your hands thoroughly when you are done! The capsaicin in chiles can be irritating to your eyes, nose or throat.
After grinding the whole chiles in a food processor or blender, you will have about 1/3 cup of chili flakes.
Put the chili flakes in a heavy, heatproof container, like a wide-mouth Mason jar. Later, you’ll toast the chili flakes by pouring hot oil over them.
Use a neutral flavored oil for this recipe. I used canola, but you could also use sunflower or plain peanut oil (not roasted peanut oil). Olive oil is not a great choice for this recipe. Put one cup of oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat, along with a garlic clove that has been peeled and cut into 3-4 long slices.
Heat the oil just to 275 degrees. You want the chili flakes to toast but not burn. Once the oil has reached 275 degrees, carefully pour the oil and garlic over the chili flakes.
Add a little salt and a little Asian sesame oil, and stir. Allow the oil to cool to room temperature, then remove the pieces of garlic. You’ve now made your own Sichuan-style roasted chili oil! You can store this chili oil in the refrigerator for at least six months. Stir the oil before using it, because the chili flakes will settle to the bottom.
Homemade Roasted Chili Oil is spicy but not too spicy, with a neutral chili flavor. It’s not just for Asian recipes, but for all kinds of dishes that could use a little heat.
Homemade Roasted Chili Oil
- 1 cup medium-hot dried chiles such as Japones
- 1 cup neutral flavored oil such as canola or sunflower oil
- 1 large clove garlic peeled and sliced
- ½ tablespoon Asian sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Grind dried chiles, including seeds, in a food processor or blender until they become small flakes. You will have about 1/3 cup of flakes. Place chile flakes in a heavy, heatproof container such as a Mason jar, and set aside.
- Pour canola or sunflower oil into a small saucepan, and add the garlic. Heat on medium high until the oil reaches 275 degrees.
- Carefully pour the hot oil with garlic over the chiles. The chile flakes should toast, but not burn. Add sesame oil and salt, and stir. Let cool to room temperature. Remove pieces of garlic. Store in refrigerator and stir before using.