If you love the mouth numbing and tingling burn of sichuan chili oil, this recipe is for you. It’s a homemade chili oil that’s filled to the brim with red pepper flakes, sichuan peppercorns (red and green!), garlic and a ton of complex aromatics.
I love to make this sichuan chili oil super spicy, and I also love to leave all of the spices in the oil. This is a personal preference, feel free to strain the spices out if you want just the infused chili oil.
The spices add extra flavor, spice and texture to foods though, so leave them in if you really want a kick.
I’ve been making a version of this sichuan chili oil for over 8 years now. I’ve tweaked, adjusted and perfected it in that time and let me assure you– this homemade chili oil will be the most delicious addition to your pantry.
And if you have friends who love spice, I can’t think of a better homemade gift!
how to make chili oil:
- Heat oil with red pepper flakes, star anise, ginger, scallion, cinnamon, bay leaf, cumin and coriander until fragrant
- Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds
- Remove from heat and stir in sichuan peppercorns, sesame seeds and soy sauce
- Let sit for 2 hours to steep
- Remove ginger and scallion pieces
- Transfer to a glass container (strain if desired) and refrigerate
how long does homemade chili oil last?
Homemade chili oil will keep, refrigerated, for at least 6 months.
Cool the oil to room temperature, strain out spices if desired, and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
does sichuan chili oil need to be refrigerated?
Yes. It’s extremely important to keep the chili oil refrigerated because there’s garlic in it.
The main concern with garlic in unrefrigerated oil is the growth of clostridium botulinum bacteria. This isn’t an issue when oxygen is present (or certain levels of acid or salt), but the anaerobic environment of chili oil allows the bacteria to grow and produce the botulinum toxin.
Botulism is a serious illness that can cause severe paralysis and death. Err on the side of caution and store the sichuan chili oil (and any oil with garlic cloves) in the refrigerator.
what oil is used in homemade chili oil?
It’s best to use a neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, grapeseed or peanut oil.
Neutral oils that are solid, such as refined coconut oil, will work but they will be really inconvenient. It’s important to store the chili oil in the refrigerator, so you would need to warm it up every time you want to use it.
And as far as olive oil is concerned, it’s best to save it for dishes that will showcase its distinctive flavors, not mask them.
how do you use Sichuan peppercorns?
It’s best to only lightly heat sichuan peppercorns to keep their flavor bright and not bitter. It’s also important to grind them as needed, in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. This keeps the flavor fresh and the numbing quality strong, both of which will fade a few weeks after grinding.
In this sichuan chili oil recipe, I add the ground peppercorns at the very end. The heat releases their flavor without damaging the delicacy or introducing bitterness.
homemade sichuan chili oil
This is a mouth numbing, tingling, super spicy homemade chili oil. The chili oil is filled to the brim with red pepper flakes, sichuan peppercorns (red and green!), garlic and a ton of aromatics for complexity.
- Prep Time: 2 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 7 minutes
- Yield: 2 cups 1x
- Category: Condiment
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Chinese
- 1 tbsp red sichuan peppercorns
- 2 tsp green sichuan peppercorns
- 2 cups neutral vegetable oil
- 6 tbsp red pepper flakes
- 2 star anise
- 1 3” piece of ginger, sliced into coins
- 1 scallion, cut into 2” pieces
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- Grind red and green sichuan peppercorns in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle until a fine powder forms, then set aside.
- Heat oil, red pepper flakes, star anise, ginger, scallion, cinnamon, bay leaf, cumin and coriander in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes, or until spices have darkened and are fragrant and oil is gently bubbling.
- Stir in garlic and cook about 15 seconds, or until garlic just begins to turn golden.
- Remove pot from heat, stir in ground peppercorns and continue to stir until oil stops sizzling. Stir in sesame seeds and soy sauce and let oil sit for at least 2 hours.
- Fish out ginger slices and scallions. Transfer chili oil to a glass jar (strain the spices if desired) and refrigerate.
- Recipe inspired by Lady and Pups
- Store the chili oil in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
- Serving Size: 1 tbsp
- Calories: 129
- Sugar: 0.1g
- Sodium: 56mg
- Fat: 14g
- Saturated Fat: 1.1g
- Unsaturated Fat: 12.3g
- Trans Fat: 0.3g
- Carbohydrates: 1.1g
- Fiber: 0.5g
- Protein: 0.4g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: homemade chili oil