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Chinese Hot Chili Oil


Chili oil makes an excellent accompaniment to noodles and dumpling dishes, and is the secret ingredient in many popular Szechuan dishes such as Bang Bang Chicken. To make the chili oil even hotter, increase the chili peppers or lower the amount of oil to 1/3 cup.

Yields about 1/2 cup

More Szechuan Recipes

Main Chinese Recipes Index

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 10 - 12 small dried chilies (1 - 2 inches long) to make 2 tablespoons of coarsely chopped chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup peanut, canola, or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil, optional


1. Cut off the stems of the dried chilies and remove the seeds.
2. Chop the chiles into coarse flakes (it's easiest to do this by processing them in a blender for about 20 seconds).
3. Place the chili flakes in a heat resistant jar with a seal.
4. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high to high heat until it is starting to smoke. Continue heating the oil for 20 - 30 seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat. Wait 3 minutes, or until the oil has cooled to 225 - 240 degrees Fahrenheit (107 to 122.5 degrees Celsius.
5. Pour the oil over the flakes. Add 1 tablespoon sesame oil if using.
6. Cool and strain the oil. (For a hotter oil, wait 1 to 2 days before straining). If you like, save the chili flakes to use in other recipes.
7. Use the chili oil as desired in recipes or as a dipping sauce with dumplings and noodles. Stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator, chili oil will last for at least one month.

Cook's Notes: Handle chile peppers with care - the oil in capsicum can be very dangerous for your skin and eyes. You may want to wear plastic gloves when handling the chile peppers. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water afterward.

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