Ah yes, the ubiquitous Chinese chili oil recipe; a highly-addictive condiment, topped on just about anything edible–and for good reason! This super easy-to-make chili oil sauce has a designated spot in my pantry and I’m never without a jar. Whip up a batch and see why so many love it so much.
I love this chili oil sauce because:
1) It’s easy to make;
2) There are a number of ways/ingredients you can use to adjust the flavor;
3) Inarguably, it will become your go-to condiment. I use a dollop of it on stir-fry veggies, garlic rice, dumplings, eggs, grilled chicken, soups, noodles–practically everything.
How to make chili oil:
There are a number of ways to make chili oil; it can be as simple as chili flakes and oil, to adding bay leaf, star anise, cinnamon, five-spice powder and so much more. This favored variation is comprised of shallots, ginger and gochugaru (Korean chili flakes). Another thing to note is the aromatics; infusion of star anise, bay leaves, five-spice powder fills your home with a very fragrant smell–nothing beats it!
What is gochugaru?
Gochugaru is a staple spice used in Korean cooking. The literal translation of the work is gochu- chili and garu powder. This deseeded dried chili pepper is sun-dried and ground to a coarse texture, somewhere between red pepper chili flakes and a fine ground pepper (some brands vary in texture).
When looking for this item at your local Asian market, be on the lookout for labels that read: Gochugaru, Korean Chile Flakes, and/or Korean Chili Powder. Some Asian markets will carry a variety of gochugaru ranging in different heat level. I typically opt for a one with that’s not as spicy, as the red pepper flakes in this recipe do a solid job of spicing things up.
Lastly, some may easily confuse gochujaru with gochujang. The difference is in gochujang is a fermented savory + spicy + sweet paste condiment. Stick with what looks like a coarse powder, and you’ll be good to go!
Best oil to use for chili oil sauce:
When making chili oil, it’s good to use a neutral oil (won’t overpower taste of chili 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, among many things).
How to use chili oil sauce:
- As mentioned above, this goodness can be drizzled over practically anything. As your resource, I’m happy to share a few of my recipes that pair well with chili oil: Pork + Shrimp Dumplings -these dumplings are juicy and make for a wonderful lunch, dinner, snack, anytime eats.
- Bok Choy in Ginger Sauce, because I honestly can’t think of a better pairing than stir-fry veggies and chili oil.
- Siningag (Filipino garlic rice) my childhood weekend mornings consisted of this garlicky goodness + fried egg. Do that, top with chili oil, and I assure you, the rest of your day will be smooth sailing.
- Chicken Congee the ULTIMATE comfort food and more importantly, the ultimate cure-all.
- Ginger Shrimp + Snow Peas I mean…. it’s just good, nothing more to it.
Loving This Shallot and Ginger Chili Oil?
We can’t get enough of it either! Leave a comment below and share your love for this recipe on Instagram and tag @whisperofyum #whisperofyum. We love to see you get down in the kitchen. Happy eating!
Shallot and Ginger Chili Oil
- 2 tablespoons ginger, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons shallots, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
- 1½ tablespoons hot red pepper flakes (add > for spicier oil)
- 4 tablespoons gochugaru
- 1½ teaspoons five-spice powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 star anise
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup avocado oil
- Add all ingredients (except avocado oil) to a heat-proof bowl.
- 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.
- 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–that’s expected.
- 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 with stir-fry veggies, garlic rice, dumplings, eggs, soups, noodles, and experiment with it in your cooking.