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5 from 1 vote

Chinese Chili Oil

Chinese Chili Oil has a vibrant red color, an intoxicating heat nuanced by subtle spices. You'll want to drizzle this over everything.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 3 cups
Calories: 309kcal
Author: Kevin



  • 10 whole cloves
  • 4 star anise
  • 4 green cardamon pods
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 inches orange peel
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 inch ginger root (See Note 1)
  • 3 cups vegetable oil

Pour Over

  • 1 cup Sichuan chili flakes or Asian red pepper flakes (See Note 2)
  • 2 tablespoon white sesame seeds toasted
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoon black vinegar or rice vinegar


  • To a large heat proof bowl add the Sichuan chili flakes, toasted white sesame seeds and salt, stir to combine. Set aside.
  • To a large saucepan add the first 12 ingredients. Bring to a simmer (225°F - 250°F) and steep for 1 hour (See Note 3). After 1 hour, turn heat up to medium-high to reach 300°F.
  • Carefully strain the HOT oil over the chili flakes and sesame seeds (discard the steeped spice mixture). This will bubble up so be careful.
  • Cool to room temperature and stir in the black vinegar. Carefully pour into clean jars and seal. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 months and if used often, keep at room temperature in pantry for up to 2 months.



  1. You can substitute 1 tablespoon dried ground ginger or dried sand ginger, also known as ground galangal for fresh ginger.
  2. Sichuan chili flakes are made by frying whole chilies in vegetable oil until crisp before grinding into flakes, seeds, or powder. The frying enhances the flavor, color and texture, creating a toasty flavor and characteristic vivid red color without dyes or additives. (source: The Mala Market) You could substitute regular red chile flakes, but if you're looking for that rich, deep red color, you will need to add 2 teaspoons of paprika to the chili flakes before pouring the oil over them.
  3. If garlic browns too quickly, remove so it doesn't burn and discard. Try to keep oil temperature around 225°F.


Sodium: 1301mg | Calcium: 404mg | Vitamin C: 6mg | Vitamin A: 23424IU | Sugar: 7g | Fiber: 33g | Potassium: 1782mg | Calories: 309kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Fat: 15g | Protein: 14g | Carbohydrates: 53g | Iron: 17mg