Simple Chili Oil

Simple Chili Oil

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  1. This recipe is a snap if you have a spice grinder.  If not, go out and buy a coffee grinder and make damn sure you never, ever grind coffee beans in it after using it for this recipe, or your coffee will be strange and decidedly spicy.

    I use this chili oil on rice, noodles, my breakfast bowls, in soups, stir-fry and just about anything to which I want to add a fiery oriental flare.  The oil will stay good at room temperature for weeks.  This recipe will make enough oil to last me a month or more; as I use the stuff almost every day (sometimes a couple times a day), it should last you even longer.  Store most of it in a medium jar in the cupboard; for what you use daily, pour a little into a serving cup with a lid, like those seen in most Chinese restaurants (if you live in a city with a Chinatown, you should be able to find one in one of the larger retail stores).

    NOTE: Do the first two steps in Procedure in a well-ventilated kitchen.  The fumes will make your lungs burn like pepper spray of you inhale them.

    For this you will need:

    • 3 oz dried red Japanese chilies (Chili Japanos in most stores); remove caps or twigs
    • 1/4 cup olive oil (at least)
    • 1/4 cup sesame oil (at least)



    1. Use a spice grinder to reduce the chilies into a powder in batches (the seeds will remain whole for the most part) and dump into a small frying pan.
    2. Place the pan over high heat and stir constantly.  You will smell chili fumes; do not scorch, but lightly roast the chili powder.  Try not to breathe the fumes or you’ll cough your head off.
    3. Add enough olive oil so that you can stir the chili powder; you want a thick liquid consistency, not a moldable solid.  Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes.
    4. Add the sesame oil and remove from heat.
    5. Allow the oil to cool before transferring it to a container.

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