Chinese Hot Chili Oil

Chinese hot chili oil recipe
Eugena Klykova Photography/ Getty images
Ratings (16)
  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 1/2 cup (8 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
135 Calories
15g Fat
0g Carbs
0g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Love the spicy hot chili oil that comes with your food when dining at a Chinese restaurant? Making the condiment at home is quite easy, using a simple and straightfoward method. This recipe for Chinese hot chili oil makes an excellent accompaniment to hot dishes such as noodles, dumplings, and stir-fries, or chilled specialties like Sichuan bang bang chicken.

The measurements below will produce about 1/2 cup of chili oil which can be stored in a dry, clean, and air-tight jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. If you use chili oil very often, double—or even triple—the ingredients to make a larger batch. If you like your chili oil even hotten, either increase the amount of chili peppers or lower the amount of oil to 1/3 of a cup.

Before proceeding, please read the warnings about handling chili peppers safely.

Ingredients

  • 10 to 12 small dried chilies
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil (other oils will also work)
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon sesame oil

Steps to Make It

  1. Cut off the stems of the dried chilies and remove the seeds.

  2. Chop the chilies into coarse flakes (it’s easiest to do this by processing them in a blender for about 20 seconds). You should end up with around 2 tablespoons of coarsely chopped chili flakes. Place the chili flakes in a heat-resistant jar with a seal.

  3. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high to high heat until it starts to smoke. Continue heating the oil for 10 to 15 seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat.

  4. Wait 3 minutes, or until the oil has cooled to 225 to 240 F (107 to 123 C).

  5. Cool and strain the oil. If you want to make the oil spicier and stronger, leave in the chili flakes and store in the fridge for 1 or 2 days before straining. You can save the strained chili flakes for some other recipes if you like.

  6. Use the chili oil as desired in recipes or as a dipping sauce with dumplings and noodles. 

Recipes Notes and Tips

  • Be very careful when you handle the chili pepper as the oil in capsicum can be very dangerous and harmful to your skin and eyes. You might want to wear plastic gloves when you are handling the chili peppers. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap after handling chili peppers.

  • You also can use store-bought chili flakes or chili powder instead of whole dried chili peppers. This might be easier for beginners. If using, choose good-quality dried chili flakes or powder. 

  • Don’t pour the oil straight into the dried chili flakes as the high temperature of the oil might burn the dried chili flakes and spoil the taste of the chili oil.

  • Stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator, chili oil will last for at least 1 month.