Szechwan Hot Chili Oil is a fragrant and spicy condiment that is a staple for Chinese Szechwan cooking.
I love spicy food, and recently, I’ve been making some Szechwan cuisine. Known for it’s bold and spicy food, the Szechwan province of China also produces Szechwan peppercorns, a unique ingredient that leaves a numbing feeling in your mouth.
Although you can buy Szechwan hot chili oil, the flavor is not the same as making it yourself. There are many layers of flavors in this homemade version. A good friend of mine rattled off the ingredients over the phone the other day, but didn’t provide any proportions. The ingredients for his Szechwan hot chili oil include garlic, scallion, garlic powder, white pepper, red pepper flakes, red chili powder, salt and Szechwan peppercorns. I added ginger too.
I have a Szechwan cookbook that has a recipe for hot chili oil, but there are no measurements either, just photos, so I came up with this recipe based on my gut. The only hint I got from my cookbook is that the typical ratio of oil to chili powder is 5:1, which I felt would result in a super spicy oil, so I used a ratio of 10:1 which still resulted in a very spicy oil. I weighed the ingredients which I found easier when I came up with this recipe since I did it visually. I will try to provide the measurements using teaspoons/tablespoons, etc. soon.
This hot chili oil is important in a number of Szechwan recipes, so I wanted to get this written down before I forgot how I made it.
I used hot pepper powder that I found at the local Asian grocery store, but I think cayenne pepper would work fine as a substitute.
Here are some Szechwan Hot Oil Wontons I made using this hot chili oil. I’ll be sharing the recipe for this amazing sauce soon ;).
- 200 grams flavorless oil (e.g., grapeseed oil)
- 3 slices ginger (1/4" thick slices)
- 6 scallions (the top 3 inches, both white and green parts), cut into 2" pieces
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 20 grams hot pepper powder
- 5 grams granulated garlic
- 2 grams red pepper chili flakes
- 10 grams salt
- 1 gram white pepper
- 5 grams Szechwan peppercorns
- Place hot pepper powder, granulated garlic, chili flakes, salt and white pepper in a heat proof bowl. Heat oil in wok or skillet to 360 degrees fahrenheit. Add ginger, scallion and garlic and cook until light brown; remove ginger, scallion and garlic with slotted spoon. Pour hot oil over hot pepper powder mix and stir; cool to room temperature; strain oil.
- Reheat strained oil in wok. Add Szechwan peppercorns and fry briefly until fragrant; use slotted spoon to remove peppercorns. Strain oil one more time.
If you like spicy sauces, you might like these recipes: