Hong You – Chili oil is a must-have ingredient for Sichuan cooking, and particularly for sauces that go on “cold dishes,” such as noodles and chicken, that are some of Sichuan’s most beloved snacks and starters. Different than the incendiary Thai Red Chili Oils, Sichuan Chili Oil is more about flavor than heat. You can easily make it yourself and control the quality and type of the oil, the quality and heat of chili flakes, and their freshness.
Sichuan Red Chili Oil
- Medium saucepan
- Pint jar with lid
- Mesh strainer
- ½ cup Sichuan crushed chili flakes
- 1 tsp Sichuan pepper, freshly ground
- 1¾ cup Vegetable or canola oil
- 1 inch Ginger root, peeled, sliced into coins and smashed
- 2 Bay leaf
- 1 Star anise (can omit)
- 1 small Stick cassava bark or cinnamon
- 3 Scallion whites, smashed
- ½ tsp Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 tbsp Toasted sesame seeds
- Heat ginger, bay leaf, star anise, cassava, scallion whites, and Sichuan peppercorn in oil over low heat for 5 minutes. Filter all the spices out and return oil to saucepan.
- Pour dry chili flakes and ground sichuan pepper into a pint canning jar with lid. Reheat oil over medium heat and carefully pour half the oil directly over the flakes. After 5 minutes, add the toasted sesame seed and ground Sichuan to the jar. Add remaining oil, cover, and shake well. Store in refrigerator.