Made with hot chili peppers, chili oil is the secret ingredient in many Szechuan dishes. Besides its use in cooking, chili oil (also called hot chili oil or pepper oil) is frequently served as a condiment in dim sum or noodle restaurants. Like all hot oil infusions, the secret to making chili oil lies in getting the temperature of the heated oil just right. Too cool and the oil won’t absorb the flavors; too hot and the chili flakes will burn.
You can make a very basic chili oil with just chili flakes and oil but I jazzed it up a little bit by adding other spices but it’s strictly optional.
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