I love spicy food. If I am a little sweaty and my cheeks tingle, I am a happy girl! This chili oil only takes 30 minutes to make and can store in the fridge for 6 months. It is great on anything – we use as a base for Dan Dan Noodles or Turkish Eggs.

  • 1 1/2 cups Vegetable Oil
  • 5 whole Star Anise
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1/4 cup Szechuan Peppercorns
  • 3/4 cup Crushed Red Pepper (Chili Flakes)
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
  1. Get out a medium sauce pan and a 1 qt canning jar or heat-proof bowl, a slotted spoon, a small towel or trivet and your oven mitts.
  2. Put the first 5 ingredients in the sauce pan, pop it on a burner and turn the flame to medium. Let bubble away for about 20 minutes. This infuses the oil with all of the goodness of the spices. Turn the burner off after 20 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, put the canning jar on the towel or trivet, and put the Crushed Red Pepper and salt in the jar. The trivet will protect the jar from the temperature shock when we add the hot oil.
  4. Use the slotted spoon to remove the Star Anise, Bay Leaves and Cinnamon Sticks from the oil. Pour the hot oil over the Crushed Red Pepper in the canning jar, being sure to pour away from yourself.
  5. Be amazed by the bubbling glory of chili oil! Let the mixture settle for a minutes, give it a stir, and then bring down to room temperature. It is ready to eat now, but will taste better tomorrow. When the oil is room temperature you can put the top on the jar and stash in the fridge. If you made the oil in a heat-proof bowl, you can transfer to a different container once the oil is room temperature.

A Note About Szechuan Peppercorns: Always buy from a spice shop! They were illegal in the US for many years. You want to make sure you are getting the real deal or the chili oil will not have that special floral yet face-numbing quality that only real Szechuan Peppercorns bring. They are not actual peppercorns.

Bonus points for counting how many times I say “numb” in the video!