If you want to add some flavourful heat to your food, this Christmas chili oil recipe is worth a try. It has the perfect balance of mouth-numbing red chili peppers, lip-tingling Sichuan peppercorns, aromatic garlic and flavourful spices that leaves everyone digging for more food but reaching for a glass of water in between too. Fire up this year’s Christmas spread or double up this recipe to make edible homemade presents for the spicy food lovers.
Chili oil is a kitchen staple for most Asian dishes but has many other uses. You can drizzle it on pastas, pizzas, salads; rub on barbecues; brush on potatoes before baking; or glaze your Christmas ham. If you’re a spicy food lover, we’re sure this quick and easy recipe will help you concoct the next kitchen staple at home.
It only requires a few simple ingredients. And it even takes up a few minutes to make. Here’s the foolproof recipe to help you get started.
- 2 whole star anise
- 2 cardamom pods
- 3 whole cloves, peeled
- 10 black peppercorns
- 5 allspice berries
- 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 20 red chili pepper
- 4 cups (1L) canola oil
- Place star anise, cardamom seeds, cloves, black peppercorns, allspice berries, Sichuan peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and red chili peppers in a dry, non-stick pan over medium heat. Toast for 2 to 3 minutes, or just until the spices release an aroma.
- Add canola oil and toasted spices into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure the lid.
- Select Variable 1. Start the machine, slowly increase to its highest speed, and blend for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Pay close attention as the oil will heat rapidly to about 70C. Let cool slightly.
- Carefully decant the oil into a sterilised glass bottle. There will be small flecks of spices in the oil. If you prefer no flecks, carefully strain oil through a filter or sieve first before filling the bottle. Seal and refrigerate.
For a fun flavor variation, add one peeled garlic clove, one herb sprig, and a pinch of salt to the mixture after you’ve poured the oil in the bottle.
This recipe is adapted from Vitamix and yields up to 3 ⅔ cups (875ml).