How to Make Chili Oil?

The use of chilli oil is ubiquitous in Chinese cooking, but it is particularly prevalent in Sichuan cuisine. Chilli oil gets its signature vivid red colour from the mixture of oil and dried red pepper flakes, and it is often used as a condiment for meals like dumplings and noodles.

Including Sichuan peppercorns and dried pepper flakes, both of which provide a mala taste to the chilli oil, is one of the distinguishing features of chilli oil prepared in the Sichuan style. The Chinese character for “numbing” is “ma,” which describes how Sichuan corn makes your tongue feel when you bite it. The symbol for “spicy.”

The chilli oil is made from recipes in which I just poured heated oil over dried red pepper flakes was flavourless, no matter how many times I attempted it. Afterward, I experimented with several recipes by simmering oil with different spices (including cinnamon, star anise, and fennel) and then pouring the resulting mixture over the pepper flakes.

Although this approach resulted in a somewhat better flavorful oil, the preparation time was much longer. Last but not least, after drawing ideas from the oil recipe I developed using garlic, ginger, and scallions, I devised a straightforward method for making chilli oil that not only packs a punch but also has an exquisite taste.

What is Chili Oil?

Standard chilli oil begins with a base of vegetable oil, which is then flavoured with chilli peppers of your choosing before being strained and bottled. I’ve provided a recipe for a straightforward superhot version prepared using a combo of dried 7-Pots and Scorpion chilli peppers below, but you may use any pepper that you’d like. If you want it to be even hotter, try adding cayenne pepper to the mix.

You may use almost any vegetable oil, but if you want to accentuate the taste of the chilli pepper, a neutral oil is your best bet. Both canola and peanut oils are often used to prepare chile oil. However, you can use chillies to flavour any oil, including olive oil and even sesame oil, by infusing the oil with the chillies. The method is straightforward in general.

Infuse flavour and heat into the oil by heating it, adding dried peppers and any other spices or ingredients you choose to use, and then allowing the mixture to cool.


  • Serving: 1tablespoon
  • Calories: 120kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 1.8g
  • Protein: 0.4g
  • Fat: 14.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.1g
  • Sodium: 146mg
  • Fibre: 0.8g
  • Sugar: 0.3g


  • Gochugaru or Korean
  • Chili Powder, red pepper flakes
  • Szechuan pepper
  • The powder of the Chinese five spices
  • Sugar
  • Fine salt
  • Sesame seeds
  • Neutral oil (avocado, vegetable, canola, etc.)

Making this Chili Oil

  • In a big bowl safe for high heat, combine all ingredients except the oil. Combine thoroughly.
  • Ingredients for the dry seasoning of chilli oil: Sichuan pepper, gochugaru, salt, sugar, and Chinese five-spice
  • For around 3 to 4 minutes, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Between 325°F and 350°F is where it should get to, and the oil should seem thin and have the consistency of water when swirled. Cut the heat off.
  • Pour the heating oil slowly into the basin containing the spices. When the oil first contacts the spices, it will sizzle vigorously before cooling and fizzing. The oil should be allowed to warm up (about 20 to 30 minutes). Pour the spices into the saucepan rather than the heated oil if you are wary about spilling hot oil into a bowl. Remove the pot from the heat before adding the spices to avoid scorching them. For approximately a minute, stir the herbs with a wooden spoon.
  • Before serving, whisk the oil. Pour some chilli flakes over any dish and drizzle the oil over the noodles or dumplings. Transfer the oil into a sterile container, then store it in the refrigerator. In the next week or two, try to utilize the oil.
  • Meanwhile, place the neutral oil in a saucepan and heat it over medium heat until it reaches a temperature of around 250 degrees Fahrenheit or 120 degrees Celsius. May determine the heat by dipping a wooden chopstick in the liquid, which should result in the formation of bubbles, or by dropping a few chilli flakes into the drink and seeing whether or not it quickly sizzles. If it does, then everything is set to go.
  • Turn the heat off under the pan and add the oil to the chilli mixture as soon as possible.
  • Take pleasure in the sizzling, and then thoroughly combine everything. Try some of the sediments, and if you think they need it, feel free to add additional salt and sugar to taste. You may add extra chilli powder or gochugaru to the dish if you want a spicier flavour.

Uses for Chili Oil

  • Prepare these dishes to represent authentic Sichuan cuisine: Mapo Tofu, Sichuan Spicy Wonton in Red Oil, Sichuan Sliced Beef in Chili Sauce (Fu Qi Fei Pian), and Bang Bang Chicken.
  • Pour over soup to improve the flavour right away: Wonton soup, chicken noodle soup made in the instant pot, and 15-minute curry ramen with leftover ham.
  • Make an important cold meal enticing to taste: True to Life Cucumber and Sesame Noodle Salad.
  • Use it on oatmeal and congee: Savory 5-Ingredient Oatmeal (Chinese-Style)
  • Use it to give a ton of flavour to your roasted vegetables (extremely helpful if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet)

Storage Tip

This oil will keep for at least six months in the refrigerator or two to three months at room temperature if it is kept in a clean, airtight container. Since we haven’t added any more “aromatics,” it should last longer (over a year). Just be careful to use clean spoons every time you remove some oil from the container.

The Way to Serve

This chilli oil is excellent for enhancing various foods like any other condiment. Pour over spaghetti, pizza, noodles, dumplings, rice, dips, and other foods. It may be swirled into soups and stews or used in dressings and sauces. I also like using it as cooking oil for stir-fried vegetables, omelets, and cereals.


Korean chilli powder is called gochugaru. It has a beautiful red hue, and pleasant undertones and is less spicy than other chillies. The chilli oil’s vivid red colour is a result of this. Since there is gochugaru in more diminutive fine/flakes form, I also utilized the finer gochugaru used for cooking.

If you want more heat, you may increase the gochugaru from 2 to 3 tablespoons. It also intensifies the colour of the oil, so the more gochugaru you use, the more vibrantly red your oil will be.

Chilli Puffs

I simply used ordinary chilli flakes and crushed pepper for the fragments. If you have Chinese or Sichuan chilli flakes, you may also use them.

Tips for Storing Dried Chili

Given that I reside in a hot and humid area, I keep my dried chiles and chilli powders in the freezer. This, in my opinion, helps preserve the freshness and the vibrant red colour that chiles may gradually lose as they age.

Why is Chili Oil so Good?

The best thing about chile oil is how versatile it is. You may cook food at the beginning of a preparation, use it as a finishing sauce at the end, or serve it as a tableside condiment or dipping sauce. Use it anywhere you need to add flavour since it will enhance your dish much more than regular hot sauce.

Can you Use Fresh Chilies in Chili Oil?

For both recipes, you’ll need oil, dried or fresh chillies, and a glass container that can seal. For chefs who lack patience, the first way is optimal. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the chopped chillies if you need a little bit.

What can I Use Chili Oil for?

Chili oil gives food a subtle taste of spice without being too hot. Use it as a salad dressing, as a dipping sauce, with some red meat, as an ingredient in pasta meals, or, most of all, with vegetables to make eating more enjoyable. You can see that there are many alternatives.

Does Chili Oil Expire?

When kept in the refrigerator, opened chilli oil often lasts for 24 months. The chilli oil may cloud up and harden when refrigerated, but quality and taste are unaffected; once the oil reaches room temperature, it will resume its regular consistency and colour.

Why is my Chili Oil Bitter?

Heat the oil to the proper temperature without overheating it if you want flavorful chile oil. The spices will be appropriately cooked and flavour-infused into the heated oil. But if the oil is too wild, it will burn the sesame seeds and pepper flakes, making the resultant chilli oil taste harsh.

Can you Eat Chili Oil Every Day?

Specific prominent chilli oil side effects need to be considered, including gastrointestinal distress, skin irritability, and tingling in the nerves. Chilli oil is generally regarded as nontoxic for most individuals when used responsibly and when made correctly, despite being quite adequate for their general health.


Whether you cook with it or serve it on its own, chilli oil is a simple and flavorful condiment. It can provide a hint of heat and flavour to almost any recipe. You may receive a flavour that is incredibly near to the taste of chilli oil by utilizing these hot chilli oil alternatives, and it will be pretty simple for you to serve it with the foods you like the most. Because you can change both the level of spiciness and the other added ingredients, you have a greater degree of control over the taste of the food.