For TV snacks tonight we’re going to do dim sum. If you go to any good dim sum restaurant, or any good Chinese restaurant worth it’s salt, you will see a little pot of chili oil sitting on the table. If you take a spoonful and put it on your plate, along with some rice vinegar and soy sauce and dip your dim sum in it you will be very happy. So tonight I looked up a recipe to make it. Turns out I had everything I needed already. So I have just popped up and made some. Here it is sitting there cooling down looking delicious.
This recipe came from the Woks Of Life website, which is a great resource for learning how to cook Chinese food, especially Sichuan.
1 1/2 cups oil, avocado, peanut, or grapeseed
5 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
3/4 cup crushed red pepper flakes, Sichuan chili flakes are the best
1 teaspoon salt, to taste
1. Heat the oil, star anise, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, and Sichuan peppercorns in a small saucepan over medium high heat. When the oil starts to bubble slightly, turn the heat down to medium or low heat. The ideal heat should be about 225 to 250 degrees F so as not to burn the oil and spices. Caution that the oil and spices can burn really easily, so it’s best to get a candy thermometer to monitor the oil temperature.
2. Let the oil cook for 30 minutes like this. If you start to see that slight bubbling die down, periodically turn the heat back up to medium-high, then back down to low if it gets too hot.
3. When the oil is done cooking, the seeds and pods should be darker in color, but not blackened. Let the oil cool for 5 minutes if it is too hot – the temperature should still be 225 to 250 degrees F. In a separate heat-proof bowl, measure out the crushed red pepper flakes and salt.
4. Remove the aromatics from the oil using a slotted spoon or fine mesh strainer. Slowly pour the oil over the chili flakes, and stir well. When completely cooled, transfer to a jar, and store in the refrigerator. The oil will keep for up to 6 months when stored this way (always remember to use a clean spoon to dip into the jar!)