This super spicy Sichuan Chilli Oil is one of a few varieties of Chinese chilli oils we make at home. They last a good few months in the fridge, and so I always have at least a couple of them at hand. What differentiates today’s recipe from the others is the addition of sichuan peppercorns and star anise, resulting in a slightly different final flavour, beside the spice. Click more to read about sichuan peppercorns.
I am hoping, over the next few weeks, to also add a couple more chilli oils to the list here on LinsFood, so look out for them. If you miss out on any chilli posts, you can always just head on over to the Chilli Page to catch up.
Our recipe today is pretty straightforward to make, mine has some chilli powder to the mix for depth, something you won’t find in store bought jars. However, we do not cook the chilli powder nor the chilli flakes, as this will result in a burnt and bitter flavour. You’ll see.
How do I use this Sichuan Chilli Oil?
In so many different ways!
- For one thing, it makes a very convenient condiment. As I cannot have a meal without some sort of spice, the Sichuan Chilli Oil makes a great flavour and spice enhancer at meal times, much like the sambal belacan does.
- I also use it in stir fries. When a recipe calls for chillies or chilli paste, just use this Sichuan Chilli Oil, with the actual oil substituting the oil in your recipe. The result is a fabulous, deep and spicy dish.
- I love to spice up mayo and aioli with this chilli oil, when using them as dips or in sandwiches.
- Speaking of sandwiches, oh man, just lightly brush your chosen bread with a layer of this Sichuan Chilli Oil, whatever filling you have, and you’ll be in heaven!
- As part of a marinade, it adds oomph to any baked or roast dish you’re planning. For eg, add a tablespoon (or more) of this to our Sichuan Roast Chicken, for an even spicier result.
- And it is also the defining ingredient of a favourite Sichuan dish called Kou Shui Ji (Spicy Sichuan Chicken), sometimes better known as the awful sounding Saliva Chicken! We’ll be making that soon, hence today’s recipe.
- 250 ml (1 cup) peanut or bland vegetable oil
- 2.5 cm (1") of ginger, sliced
- 2 star anise petals
- a small piece cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 dried whole Sichuan chillies, or any other non smoked dried red chilli
- 1 Tbsp Sichuan peppercorns (or powder)
- 5 Tbsp chilli flakes
- 1 Tbsp hot chilli powder
- 1 tsp salt
- Cut the whole dried chillies in half, using a pair of scissors.
- Place the oil, ginger, ginger, star anise, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cut dried chillies and sichuan peppercorns in a saucepan and heat on medium-low heat.
- When the oil comes to a simmer, lower the heat right down and simmer for 15 minutes.
- While waiting, place the chilli flakes, chilli powder and salt into a bowl large enough to take the oil and set aside.
- At the end of the 15 minutes, by which time the oil has had a chance to absorb all the aromas and flavours of the aromatics and spices, turn off the heat and leave to rest for 5 minutes on the hit hob.
- Using a metal strainer (as the oil will still be hot), strain the oil into the bowl of chilli and salt mix and stir well with a metal or wooden spoon.
- Taste and add more salt, if necessary.
- Transfer to a sterile jar and when cool to room temperature, store in the fridge for up to 6 months.