How to make spicy chilli oil

The base in many Szechuan and Korean dishes, this spicy capsicum infused oil can be used to bring some heat to your favourite Asian meals or even as a dipping sauce drizzled on top of meat, dim sum or pizza. This spicy oil is easy to make, it keeps for months, and only calling for just a few ingredients, it makes for a great spicy condiment companion in the kitchen.

Armed with this delicious and complex oil you can create authentic and sophisticated dishes that will make your friends envious. Once you’ve used homemade chilli oil, I guarantee you will never go back to commercially produced one again.

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Put on rubber gloves and slice the chilli peppers thinly. Place in the bottom of a jar and sprinkle with salt. Add in the chilli flakes.

In a saucepan or skillet, heat the oil. This should take about 3 minutes to heat to the correct temperature, about 120°C. If you do not have an instant-read oil thermometer, you'll know you reach the right temperature once the oil begins to smoke. After 30 seconds, remove from heat oil from the heat.

Infuse the chilli with the oil by pouring the hot oil into the jar with the chillis. Let the mixture sit for at least 4 hours, even though it's recommended to let sit overnight for the best results so that the the chillis can properly infuse with the oil.

Use a strainer to separate the chilli flakes and sliced chillis with the oil. You can either discard the chillis or save it for another recipe.

Put the oil in a sealable container, jar or oil jug and store in a cool place for up to two months.

What you’ll need

1 cup neutral oil, like sunflower or canola oil 1 teaspoon chilli flakes 6 hot chilli peppers, sliced ¼ teaspoon salt

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About the Author

Alexandra Lazar is a writer, editor and eater based in Argentina. She writes for various for newspapers, magazines, online publications, travel guides and blogs about food, wine, bars and travel.