I’m excited to share my homemade family’s chilli oil recipe! Like most things, Chilli Oil is way better homemade. You’ll be surprised by how easy it is to make homemade chilli oil packed full of flavour. It will take 20 minutes max, and last you about a month in the fridge. I always make two jars (or more) because I put it on nearly everything.
Adjust seasoning to taste
As much as I love recipes, I’m actually much more of an intuitive cook. I eyeball, taste and adjust as I go (vs. following exact measurements to a tee). Ok, it sometimes gets me in trouble but that’s the fun of it!
I’d love you to think about this chilli oil recipe as more of a guideline than an exact recipe. It’s all about getting to your preferred final product. Add more sugar if you like it on the sweeter side. Add more Sichuan peppercorns if you enjoy the numbing sensation, or leave it out if it’s not for you.
the secret recipe to our family chilli oil recipe
It’s dun dun dunnnn… dried shrimp! These teeny, pinky-orangey, dried shrimp have a salty, fishy flavour and are used as a flavouring in pastes, soups, meat dishes, salads and more. Dried shrimp adds a subtle yet impactful umami (savoury) flavour. Seriously, once you add it into your chilli oil it will be hard to go back.
We’re addicted and have been using this ingredient in our chilli oil for over 10 years. Adding dried shrimp is not a *new* thing. It’s common in chilli and curry pastes in parts of Asia. For example, you’ll find dried shrimp in Sambal, a delicious Malaysian chilli paste commonly served as a sauce and as a curry base.
Where to find dried shrimp and how to use it?
Dried shrimp is common in Asian cuisine so it should be easy to find at your local Asian supermarket. In this recipe, we first soak the dried shrimp for 10 minutes before using it.
try out some of these dishes using my homemade chilli oil
- Chinese fried chicken
- Wontons in Spicy Wonton Sauce
- As a sauce for yummy dumplings
- Anythingggggggg and everything!
THE RECIPE IN A NUTSHELL
- Infuse the oil with aromatics
- In a pan on low heat, add neutral oil
- Add the dry aromatics (bay leaves, star anise, cinnamon, crushed cardamom pods, Sichuan peppercorns, dried shrimp)
- Add the fresh aromatics (spring onions, ginger, garlic, shallots)
- Leave for 5 minutes. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool before transferring into the bowl below.
- Pour oil through a sieve, into a bowl with chilli flakes
- In a stainless steel or ceramic (not glass!) bowl, add Chilli flakes + ground Sichuan peppercorns
- Drain the flavoured oil through a sieve, pouring into the bowl with chilli flakes + ground Sichuan peppercorns.
- Leave aside to cool
- Transfer into a glass jar. Ensure liquid is COOL before popping on lid and putting it into the fridge.
- Chilli oil is best the next day.
- Leave to infuse overnight and drizzle on everything tomorrow!
Homemade Chilli OIl (Family Recipe in under 20 minutes)
- 3 cups Neutral oil
- 1 tablespoon Dried shrimp, ground soaked in water for 5-10 minutes, they will expand slightly. Drain.
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 3 Cardamom pods crushed
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 whole Star anise
- 2 cm Ginger peeled, sliced
- 2 cloves Garlic sliced
- 1 Shallot peeled, sliced
- ½ cup Ground red chilli flakes
- ¼ teaspoon Sea salt
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- ½ teaspoon Rice vinegar
Infuse the oil with dry and fresh aromatics.
- In a pan on medium head, add neutral oil and dry ingredients listed. Add enough oil to fit the jar you are filling up. Leave for 5 minutes.
- Add fresh aromatics to the pan. Leave for another 5 minutes.
- Take it off the stove and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
Pour onto chilli flakes.
- In a a steel or ceramic bowl, add your chilli flakes.
- Ensure the oil has cooled down. Through a sieve, pour your infused oil onto the chilli flakes.
- Let it cool properly before pouring into a jar. Leave overnight in the fridge. The flavour will be better the next day!