A homemade Sichuan Garlic Chili Oil is the most fragrant way to spice up any meal! It’s AMAZING drizzled over your favourite dishes and can be made in under 10 minutes with only five ingredients! The best part? It stores well for MONTHS!
The only chili oil recipe you’ll need
While our pantry is always stocked with a bottle of emergency supermarket chili oil, I always find that they’re a little…lacking. Sure, they all seem promising with their bright red colour, but that’s usually as far as it gets.
You won’t get that with our homemade version. Just one teaspoon and the heat will rock your tastebuds. Then after the first hit of spice, your mouth will be enveloped by a warmth that lingers all the way to your lips.
Why this recipe works
Say goodbye to boring bland sauces because this one promises three things: few ingredients, everything ready in less than 10 minutes and UNBELIEVABLE flavour!
- Using your favourite nuts and seeds adds texture to every bite which then becomes infused with aromatics.
- You can add as much (or as little) chili powder as you like to make the spice level perfect for you.
- Garlic adds a fragrant kick that works perfectly with the dry spices.
What you’ll need
How to make this recipe
Mix up your ingredients in a heatproof bowl. You will be pouring hot liquid into it, so it MUST be able to withstand the heat.
Add the Sichuan peppercorns into the cold oil and bring it to smoking point.
The time required will depend on your oil and your stove, but a general rule of thumb is when you can see it just start to show smoke or if it bubbles when a wooden chopstick placed inside, it’s ready.
Pour the hot oil into the mixture of spices. Be careful because it will bubble and spit!
Stir gently and let it cool before enjoying.
Drizzle it over anything savoury! You can add an addictive kick to your meals with just a small spoonful.
Our family even enjoys tossing it in stir fries including Crispy Pork Belly Stir Fried with Asian Greens, Pea Shoots and Garlic and Water Spinach with Fermented Bean Curd.
There’s really no limit. It’s even great on pasta, pizza, eggs, sandwiches or as a gift!
Seal it in a air-tight jar (preferably glass, unless you want to scrub vigorously to remove it from a plastic container) and it will store for up to 6 months in the fridge.
Make sure to only use clean and dry spoons to scoop into the container, otherwise you would be inviting unnecessary bacteria growth!
There are two main factors that contribute to its success: (1) the smoke point and (2) its taste.
To highlight the chili flavour (and any other ingredients you add), it’s important to choose an oil with a neutral flavour. You also need it to have a high smoke point to ensure that there’s enough heat to instantly cook everything in the bowl.
Here are some options that are neutral in taste and have a high smoke point:
– Peanut oil
– Vegetable oil
– Canola oil
– Grapeseed oil
– Rice bran oil
Tips to make the recipe yours
The best thing about anything homemade is that you can customise it to however you like.
You can always adjust the measurements to your preference for a hotter, milder or more mouth-numbing experience!
Here are some other ways to amp up this recipe:
Mix in your favourite dry ingredients
- Whole or crushed peanuts. If you want a beautiful nuttiness and crunch, add in a few peanuts to the dry spices.
- Toasted sesame seeds. Putting even just a teaspoon of toasted white sesame seeds will give it an incredibly potent nutty flavour.
- Toasted star anise. This adds a subtle sweetness with a hint of licorice. It also has a mild peppery flavour which can complement the spiciness.
- Toasted Chinese cinnamon bark. Slightly spicy, this ingredient will add warmth and sweetness.
- Toasted dried bay leaves. These can infuse a pleasant bitterness to that is similar to the flavour found in herbal dishes.
Add fresh aromatics
- Ginger. Other than its health benefits, throwing in a few slices of ginger to the mix is great for getting an extra layer of warmth.
- Spring onions. Once cooked through, the punch of fresh spring onions will disappear but you’ll be left with a hint of sweetness and a great crunchy texture.
To let every ingredient really shine, wait for a few hours so the flavours intensify.
Make every meal a fantastic one!
Here are our FAVOURITE ways to serve this phenomenal sauce:
- Dried Scallop and Egg White Fried Rice (瑤柱蛋白炒飯) – this recipe is simple and delicious, which is the perfect base for a spicy hit.
- Taiwanese Pork Belly Bao (Gua Bao) – served in large groups, these handheld appetisers are the best place to let your guests add extra flavour to their liking.
- Four Cup Chicken (四杯雞) – no chicken should be served without a sauce to take it up a notch!
- Wonton Egg Noodle Soup – Chinese soups are the ultimate way to let a sauce shine.
Want more home cooked recipes?
Sichuan Garlic Chili Oil
- 10 cloves minced garlic
- 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
- 1/4 US cup chili flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 US cup oil (with a high smoking point)
- Mix up your ingredients in a heatproof bowl. You will be pouring hot oil into it, so it MUST be able to withstand the heat.
- Add the Sichuan peppercorns into the cold oil and bring it to smoking point. The time required will depend on your oil and your stove, but a general rule of thumb is when you can see it just start to show smoke or if it bubbles when a wooden chopstick in placed in the oil, it's ready.
- Pour the hot oil into the mixture of spices. Be careful because it will bubble and spit!
- Stir gently and let it cool before enjoying.
- Adjust the measurements to your preference for a hotter, milder or more mouth-numbing experience!
- Mix in your favourite dry ingredients: whole or crushed peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, toasted star anise, toasted Chinese cinnamon bark or toasted dried bay leaves.
- Add fresh aromatics: ginger or spring onions.
- To let every ingredient really shine, wait for a few hours so the flavours intensify.
Join the family!
This post was originally published on 31/3/20 and updated with tips and FAQs in April 2020.