Hot Chili Oil


Hot chili oil is an essential condiment to have for most Asian cooking. Occasionally I'll buy my own but I wanted to make a batch that wouldn't be a flavor clash to Korean dishes (although I love Sichuan style chili oils with all their aromatics).

This recipe is very bare bones, but it's solid. Douse it over mandu (Korean dumplings), use the oil to stir-fry Korean meats for an extra kick or add a few of those beautiful Sierra tinted oil drops for flair and flavor into a hot soup.


  • 2 cups soybean oil + 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 cup of coarsely ground hot chili flakes

  • 1 sliced round of ginger

  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed

  • 3 white stems of green onions, roots left on

  • 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns

  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Gradually heat oil, peppercorns, ginger, garlic and green onion stems in pot with a firm handle over medium to medium high heat until oil is hot (but not smoking), the aromatics start coming forth and/or the oil reaches roughly 370 degrees.

There may be a little bubbling but the oil should not be boiling. Once the oil has reached temperature, discard aromatics with a small skimmer. Let cool off slightly for about 3 to 5 minutes so not to burn your chili flakes when you pour the oil over them.

Meanwhile place chili flakes, sesame seeds and salt into a heat proof bowl that will have sufficient room for 3 cups of liquid (you don't want oil to bubble over). Pour hot oil over chili flakes in batches. Stir mixture as you go. There will be bubbling from the hot oil. It's mesmerizing.

Keep pouring in batches and stirring until all the oil is combined with chili oil. Let mixture cool completely at room temperature. Store chili oil in tightly closed jar in the fridge.