Red Chile Oil

Many Chinese cooks use this robustly flavored oil in many of their dishes.

Red Chile Oil
Many Chinese cooks use this robustly flavored oil in many of their dishes.
Yield: makes 3/4 Cup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut oil
  • 12 cup chopped dried red chiles

Instructions

  1. Heat peanut oil in a wok or medium saucepan over high heat until hot but not smoking (340°-350° on a candy thermometer). Add dried chiles, then remove wok from heat and set aside to cool. Strain oil through a fine sieve. Refrigerate in a sealed jar for up to 6 months.

Variation: For Sichuan peppercorn oil (hua jiao you), substitute 1/4 cup Sichuan peppercorns for the red chiles and proceed as above. Chiang recommends sprinkling this oil on already cooked foods. Don't use it to stir-fry. The heat will destroy the flavor and make it bitter. It's best on spicy dishes, for it brings out their flavor.