Garlic Chili Oil

By: takestwoeggsPosted: 29/03/2022 Updated: 30/11/2023
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 30 minutes
Drizzle this spicy garlic chili oil over almost any dish you can imagine and instantly level it up. This quick and easy chili garlic oil recipe can be made within 30 minutes and will keep you coming back for more.
Garlic Chili Oil

Drizzle this spicy garlic chili oil over almost any dish you can imagine and instantly level it up. This quick and easy chili garlic oil recipe can be made within 30 minutes and will keep you coming back for more.

A spoon lifting garlic chili oil from a small glass jar.

Spice up your eggs, dumplings, noodles, and soups with a dollop of this spicy garlic chili oil. This spicy garlic chili oil is not a regular garlic chili oil it is a cool, aromatically infused, with multiple layers of umami, crunchy garlic chili oil.

Since my family doesn’t have a chili oil recipe that has been passed down over multiple generations, I sought to create my own tradition by inventing my own addicting garlic chili oil recipe. I scoured the internet looking at all the recipes, I taste-tested all the popular chili oils that are on the market and underwent multiple recipe tests. And finally, I have made a spicy and dangerously addicting chili garlic oil recipe that I am proud of.

My chili garlic oil recipe only requires three steps that can be completed in under 30 minutes. There are various layers of complex flavors from steeping the oil with pungent aromatics and then mixing the chili oil with flavorful spices. It is my finest culinary masterpiece.

You can use this chili garlic oil with Chinese turnip cakes, fried rice, caramelized spam and eggs, crispy skirt dumplings, wontons in chili oil, or drizzle it over some wonton soup. The possibilities are endless.

Up close of a spoon lifting garlic chili oil from a jar.
Looking down at a small ramekin with garlic chili oil in it.

What is chili oil?

At its simplest, chili oil is a condiment made from vegetable oil that has been infused with chili peppers. There are many variations where different types of oil and hot peppers are used. It is most commonly used in Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisine. Chili oil is most commonly used as a dipping sauce for meat, noodles, and dumplings.

A spoon lifting garlic chili oil from a small glass jar.

Kitchen Equipment

For this garlic chili oil recipe, no fancy equipment is necessary. But I do recommend using a thermometer to measure the temperature of the oil.

  • Heavy Bottomed Saucepan: you will be heating oil to a very hot temperature. To be safe, use a heavy-bottomed saucepan or dutch oven.
  • Thermometer with Clip Attachment: The temperature of the crunchy garlic chili oil is very important in order to perfectly cook the garlic and chilis without burning them. You will need a thermometer with a clip attachment to measure the heat of the temperature the entire time the oil is steeping.
  • Heatproof Bowl: you will need a heatproof bowl that can withstand high heat when the hot oil hits the bowl. I used my glass Duralex mixing bowl for this recipe. They are very versatile and durable.
  • Fine Mesh Sieve: you will need a fine-mesh sieve to hold all the aromatics when you pour the hot oil into the chili flakes and garlic.
  • Airtight Jar: to store the crunchy garlic chili oil, you will need an airtight jar or mason jar.

Ingredients

The ingredients for this chili garlic oil may seem extensive but that is only because the layers of flavor are complex which makes it delicious. You can always customize your own chili oil by omitting or adding more aromatics.

  • Neutral oil: you can use any neutral oil with a high boiling point like vegetable oil, grapeseed, or canola oil.
  • Garlic: the main star of this recipe. Make sure to use freshly chopped garlic for the most pungent and aromatic flavor.
  • Light soy sauce: Light soy sauce is thinner and lighter in color and adds a gentle saltiness to the chili oil. I used Lee Kum Kee’s premium soy sauce.
  • Dark soy sauce: Dark soy sauce has more intensity in flavor and is much darker. Also, dark soy sauce has a sweeter flavor due to the time it ages with molasses. I used Lee Kum Kee’s dark soy sauce.
  • Chinese Black vinegar: Chinese black vinegar is made from various aged grains. It has a rich, tangy flavor with a hint of sweetness. For best results, use Chinkiang Vinegar.
  • Szechuan chili flakes: use Szechuan chili pepper flakes for a delicious amount of heat and flavor. You can use a blend of other chili peppers if you’d like to experiment as well. More about that in the FAQ section below.
  • Five Spice: five-spice powder and chili oil work well together creating a delicious mouthful of warming spices for the chili.
  • Porcini Mushroom Powder: this is the secret ingredient for this recipe. The porcini mushroom powder adds a layer of umami flavoring to finish the dish.
  • Salt: Salt is a natural flavor enhancer and brings out the flavors from the other ingredients.
  • Brown Sugar: brown sugar balances out the salt and spicy levels from the other ingredients while also adding a subtle sweetness.
The sauce ingredients for garlic chili oil.

Aromatics

  • Star Anise: star anise adds a rich warm spice that tastes like licorice and is slightly sweet.
  • Cinnamon stick: a cinnamon stick adds a sweet, and woody flavor with a slight citrusy note to the oil.
  • Black Cardamom: black cardamom adds a pungent, earthy, floral spice with a smoky aroma and a citrus and eucalyptus flavor.
  • Whole Cloves: whole cloves adds a subtly sweet flavor that adds warmth to the oil
  • Sichuan Peppercorns: Sichuan peppercorns add a spicy, nutty, flavor that has a citrus aroma and an overtone of pine. It also creates a tingly, numbing sensation in the mouth.
All the aromatic ingredients for chili oil.

How to Make Garlic Chili Oil

You can cook this easy chili garlic oil recipe in under 25 minutes with only three simple steps.

  1. Prepare the spices. In a medium heat-proof bowl, add the minced garlic, and chili flakes. In a separate bowl mix together light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Chinese black vinegar, five-spice powder, porcini mushroom powder, and salt. Place on a heat-resistant coaster.
  1. Heat the oil and aromatics. In a saucepan, add the oil with the star anise, cinnamon stick, whole cloves, and Sichuan peppercorns. Heat the oil on medium/medium-low heat until it reaches about 200-225° F or 93-110° C. The spices will start sizzling. Turn down the heat if the spices turn too dark. Infuse the spices into the oil for 25-45 minutes. The longer you infuse, the stronger the flavors will be.
Infusing oil in a small sauce pot with aromatic ingredients.
  1. Combine. Once the oil steeps for a minimum of 25 minutes, carefully pour the hot oil through a strainer onto the chili flakes and garlic and stir to combine. Then add the soy sauce and spice mixture and stir to combine.

Tips for the Best Garlic Chili Oil

  • Use a thermometer with a clip attachment to measure the temperature of the oil. You will need to have a thermometer measuring the temperature of the oil the entire time since the temperature fluctuates constantly on the stove. Ideally, you want to maintain 225° F (107° C).
  • The longer you infuse the oil the more fragrant it will be. The minimum amount I listed was 25 minutes but if you have the time you can infuse the oil for up to 1 hour! Just be sure to monitor the temperature of the oil to prevent the oil from burning the aromatics.
  • Splurge on the porcini mushroom powder. Trust me. The umami flavor from the mushroom powder is unmatched and will instantly elevate your chili oil to the next level.

Storage Instructions

You can store this crunchy garlic chili oil in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. This chili oil has a shorter shelf life than Chinese chili oil because it uses fresh garlic. Use a clean spoon every time you scoop out the chili oil to prevent contamination or spoilage.

What to Eat Garlic Chili Oil With

You can add crunchy garlic chili oil to almost everything. You can spice up your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with a dollop of chili oil

Frequently Asked Q’s & A’s

Is chili garlic oil healthy?

Yes! Garlic is known for its ability to fight bacteria, viruses, and parasites as a natural antibiotic. Red chili powder is known to aid in digestion, maintain blood pressure, and improve heart health. Plus, when you are making garlic chili oil from scratch you know exactly which ingredients you are using and there are no artificial preservatives.

What kind of oil should I use?

For chili oil, I recommend using a neutral oil that has a high smoke point. You want a neutral oil because you don’t want to overpower the flavors of the aromatics. You can use vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, or canola oil.

Can I use other types of chili?

For this recipe, I used Szechuan chili flakes for their vibrant color and spicy flavor. However, you can always mix up the chili powder by using Thai chili pepper, Korean chili flakes, Japones chilis, or Arbol chili peppers.

Did you make this Garlic Chili Oil?

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Recipe

Up close of a small glass jar of garlic chili oil.

Garlic Chili Oil

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Drizzle this spicy garlic chili oil over almost any dish you can imagine and instantly level it up. This quick and easy chili garlic oil recipe can be made within 30 minutes and will keep you coming back for more.
Servings: 1 cup
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Aromatics

Instructions

  • Prepare the spices. In a medium heat proof bowl, add minced garlic, and chili flakes. In a separate bowl mix together light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Chinese black vinegar, five spice powder, porcini mushroom powder and salt. Place on a heat resistant coaster.
  • Heat the oil and aromatics. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, add neutral oil with the star anise, cinnamon stick, whole cloves, and Sichuan peppercorns. Heat the oil on medium/medium low heat until it reaches about 200-225° F or 93-110° C. The spices will start to sizzle. Turn down the heat if the spices turn too dark. Infuse the spices into the oil for 25-45 minutes. The longer you infuse, the stronger the flavors will be.
  • Combine. Once the oil has been infused for a minimum of 25 minutes, carefully pour the hot oil through a strainer onto the chili flakes and garlic and stir to combine. Then add the soy sauce and spice mixture and stir to combine.

Notes

  • Use a thermometer with a clip attachment to measure the temperature of the oil. You will need to have a thermometer measuring the temperature of the oil the entire time since the temperature fluctuates constantly on the stove. Ideally, you want to maintain 225° F (107° C).
  • The longer you infuse the oil the more fragrant it will be. The minimum amount I listed was 25 minutes but if you have the time you can infuse the oil for up to 1 hour! Just be sure to monitor the temperature of the oil to prevent the oil from burning the aromatics.
  • Splurge on the Porcini mushroom powder. Trust me. The umami flavor from the mushroom powder is unmatched and will instantly elevate your chili oil to the next level.

Nutrition:

Calories: 2434kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 241g | Saturated Fat: 37g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 137g | Monounsaturated Fat: 55g | Trans Fat: 2g | Sodium: 7992mg | Potassium: 1657mg | Fiber: 27g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 18559IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 378mg | Iron: 16mg

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