I adore chili oil, but I don’t love many of the oils and preservatives used in conventional versions. I was determined to come up with my own chili oil recipe, as it is cost effective and I feel much better about the ingredients used. I enjoy playing around with the chilies I include, both dried and fresh, as this results in a variety of different flavours. My favourite is the combination of Korean red chili flakes and thai chili below. I use avocado oil for this recipe, specifically because it stands up well to high heat. If you don’t mind a bit of coconut flavour you could use coconut oil, however I wouldn’t go with olive oil or any other oil that works best at lower temperatures.
I have tried this recipe a few different ways, my first attempt included a long simmer over lower heat. I was chatting with a local hot sauce producer and he mentioned that the trick was getting the oil up to a high heat before pouring it over the chili flakes. I decided to try it this way and I fell head over heels with the level of spice the higher heat pulled out of the chilies. I don’t like letting oil sit for too long, as I worry about botulism so this to me feels like a safer method. Plus it is absolutely delicious! I’d like to experiment with adding a bit of szechuan peppercorns to my chili mix, for a bit of a flavour twist.
I would feel confident keeping this chili oil in the fridge for a couple of weeks max, although we are big fans of chili oil and ours never lasts that long!
1 cup avocado oil
2 Tbsp chili flakes (I used Korean Chili)
1 small thai chili, sliced (or a pinch of cayenne)
1 large clove garlic, crushed
pinch sea salt
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
Warm avocado oil over medium/high heat until very warm but not smoking. Remove from heat and add chili flakes, thai chili, crushed garlic and sea salt, stirring to combine. Let cool for 30 minutes at room temperature and stir in the toasted sesame oil. Store in a mason jar in the fridge.