While you can buy chile oil in any Chinese grocery, it won't compare to homemade. And it couldn't be easier—just heat up a neutral oil and pour it over crumbled chiles and spices. This recipe is adapted from The Dumpling Galaxy Cookbook.
Use this Sichuanese maroon-hued vegetable oil infused with chiles to give dumplings a pleasantly burning taste
Yield: makes 2 1/2 cups
2 cups vegetable oil
1⁄2 cup red pepper flakes
1⁄3 cup gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
3 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise
2 tbsp. minced ginger
1 coarsely chopped scallion
In a small saucepan, heat the vegetable oil to 325°. In a heatproof bowl, mix the red pepper flakes, gochugaru, cinnamon sticks, star anise, minced ginger, and scallion. Stir the hot oil into the spice mixture. Let cool. Remove the scallion and cinnamon sticks. Store chilled in a sealed container up to 6 months.