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Monday, October 27, 2014

Chinese Red Chili Oil

There is something hypnotizing about red chili oil.  I've made cold olive oil infused with red chiles chile oil before, but this one is the specific one used in some of the best Chinese noodle recipes, hot infused and filtered for a pristine red hot ma la condiment.  Traditionally, it is made with peanut oil but since I didn't have any, I used coconut oil and grape seed oil.  Neutral oils that are slightly healthier than peanut oil, but work fine since they are not fragrant like olive oil.  I mixed the two because coconut oil solidifies at room temperature, and I wanted a liquid result.
Inspired by ChinaSichuanFood
Yield 5 Tbsp
3 Tbsp coconut oil
3 Tbsp grape seed (or sunflower) oil
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
3 Tbsp dry roasted and ground red chiles
2 tsp dry roasted and ground Sichuan peppercorns
1 inch knob of ginger
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1.  Place everything in a ceramic bowl except the oil, cinnamon, and star anise.
2.  Heat the oil in a sauce pan with the cinnamon and star anise.
3.  When it starts to sizzle, wait about 30 seconds for the cinnamon to "unravel," then remove the anise and cinnamon.
4.  Pour the hot oil into the bowl over all the other ingredients.  It will foam up, but then reduce a bit.
5.  Let infuse and cool down for at least 3 hours.
6.  Strain with a fine mesh or cheesecloth to achieve the pristine red liquid that will blow your head off.

I dipped my finger in to measure the spiciness and I was not disappointed!
I used this in Dan Dan Mian which resulted in an extremely spicy Ma La heaven...
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