Use this aromatic Sichuan chili oil for dumplings and authentic dishes from Sichuan, such as Dan Dan noodles or “strange-flavour chicken”. But it also works well as a substitute for olive oil with, for example, couscous or steamed cauliflower. The spices, including star anise, ginger, fennel, cinnamon and garlic, make flavouring dishes a breeze!
How do you make authentic Sichuan oil?
For a Sichuan oil, heat up the oil until it smokes. In some recipes ginger, spring onion and other spices are added. Pour the hot oil in a bowl with chili flakes, Sichuan pepper and if needed some roasted sesame. Leave for a few hours and your chili oil is ready. Traditionally, the oil is used in dishes together with the chili flakes.
When I made this oil for my restaurant, I sifted the flakes out and only used the tasteful and red oil.
For a Cantonese chili oil that my father makes, I do use the chili residue. Because it not only contains chili, but also garlic, shallot and dried shrimps. It is a shame to dispose of such a tasteful substance! I will ask my father for a very precise recipe of his oil. I don’t think an “a bit-of-this-something-more-of-that” recipe will be useful for you.
Why do you make this (slightly less authentic) Sichuan chili oil?
Your dish will get a Chinese taste in no time:
Sichuan oil enhances other Chinese flavourings in your dish. I always make this oil with many spices, the same as in Chinese five-spice: cinnamon, star anise, fennel and Sichuan pepper. There is also a big piece of ginger in it, an indispensable ingredient in Chinese kitchens (yes, plural, because China is such a big country and regions have their own cuisine).
“For more authentic spiciness, add 20 to 30 grams of extra chili flakes.”
Your dish will get an instant savoury taste:
The addition of shallot and garlic makes Sichuan oil savoury and full. Ideal to season your food on a busy weekday evening. Saves a lot of shallot – and garlic cutting time!
Your dish will get a beautiful red colour:
Sichuan oil is also called “red oil“. Because of the chili it has a nice bright red colour. My oil contains a little less chili, so it also becomes less red. To get that distinctive colour, we add annatto seed, derived from the achiote tree. I admit: this is not authentic Sichuan. But the seed does not add flavour and ensures the same intense colour, so what is wrong with it? And: this is typical Kind of Asian!
If you don’t find the colour that important, you can omit the annatto seed. Or you use more chili flakes, but then your oil will become spicier. Choices, choices.
Soon I will post a recipe for vegetarian wontons with Sichuan oil. Would you rather use this oil in a recipe, try the Sichuan cucumbers or this sesame sauce for roasted cauliflower or poached chicken.Print
Make Sichuan Chili Oil Yourself: Aromatic And Versatile
Use this oil for dumplings and authentic dishes from Sichuan, such as Dan Dan noodles or “strange-flavour chicken”. But it also works well as a substitute for olive oil with, for example, couscous or steamed cauliflower. Aromatic spices, including star anise, ginger, fennel, cinnamon and garlic, make flavouring dishes a breeze!
- ½ l neutral oil
- 3 medium shallots, peeled and halved
- 35 g ginger, unpeeled and sliced
- 1 bulb of garlic, peeled
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 star anise
- 10 g/ 2 tbsp Sichuan pepper
- 3 bay leaves
- 5 g/ 1 tbsp fennel seed
- 12 g/ 1 tbsp annatto seed *, optional
80 g chili flakes (in heat-resistant bowl)
- Heat all A ingredients in a pan. Set the heat source to a low setting.
- If the oil starts to bubble a little (may take fifteen minutes), add the B ingredients.
- Let it simmer for half an hour. Keep the heat low so that the spices do not burn.
- Turn off the heat source after half an hour, or sooner if the garlic starts to turn brown.
- If you have time, set the pan of oil aside to allow the spices to infuse for a few hours to an entire night. If not, continue to the next step.
- Sieve the oil through a metal sieve. If you have a plastic strainer, let the oil cool down first.
- Heat up the sieved oil back in the pan over high heat (up to 120-130 ° C or until the oil starts to smoke).
- Pour the glowing hot oil into the bowl with the chili flakes little by little.
Keywords: Sichuan, Szechuan, chili oil, spicy, aromatic, how to make, flavour enhancer, red, make yourself, howto