Shallot + Ginger Chili Oil

The one thing I love about making chili oil is the aromatics; the infusion of anise, bay leaves, five-spice powder fills your home with a v fragrant smell–nothing beats it! I use a dollop of it on stir-fry veggies, garlic rice, dumplings, eggs, soups, noodles–errythang.

There are a number of ways to make chili oil; it can be as simple as Chinese crushed chili flakes and oil, to adding bay leaves, cinnamon, five-spice powder and so much more. This variation includes shallots and gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) and is favored by my family.

When making chili oil, it’s good to use a neutral oil. I prefer to use avocado oil, as it has a higher smoke point, which means it can be used to cook at higher heat. Also, avocado oil contains monounsaturated fat (good fats that can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood) as well as vitamin E (great for your skin, amongst many things).

Effortful time: 5 mins Total time: 30 mins

You Need

  • 1½ tablespoons hot red pepper flakes (add > for spicier oil)
  • 4 tablespoons gochugaru
  • 1½ teaspoons five-spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup avocado oil

Do It

  1. Add all ingredients to a heat-proof bowl.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes. If you have a kitchen thermometer handy, you want the temperature of the oil to reach 350ºF. If you don't have a thermometer, you'll want to achieve a noticeably thin, shimmery oil.
  3. Carefully pour the oil into the bowl containing the ingredients. You’ll notice a good amount of sizzling as the oil comes into contact with the spices–and that’s expected.
  4. Leave the oil to cool for to room temperature (20 mins). Once the oil reaches room temp, give the oil a swirl with a spoon and transfer to a sterilized jar and keep refrigerated. Enjoy it with stir-fry veggies, garlic rice, dumplings, eggs, soups, noodles, and experiment with it in your cooking.

Chili oil keeps for a while, although, I’m sure you'll find yourself to an empty jar in no time.