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yet another chili oil (la jiao jiang)

May 13, 2020

Chili oil is one of my favorite foods! My two favorite chili oil recipes are this caramelized onion la jiao jiang – sweet and hot – and this dandanmian chili oil, which is complex and flavorful. Both are very highly recommended.

I can easily eat an entire batch in no time – dipping dumplings, drowning noodles in it, drizzled over congee or grits, on fish, and even making no-mayo chicken salad with a Chinese black vinegar and chili oil vinaigrette.

I wanted to try something new, so I tried China Sichuan Food’s la jiao jiang‘s recipe!

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7 tablespoons red pepper flakes (can toast in skillet before crushing)
1 tablespoon toasted white sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn
1 cup vegetable oil or 1/2 cup more for adjusting

spices:
1 thumb ginger
2 bay leaves
3 star anise
1 bark Chinese cinnamon
3 scallion whites
1/4 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn
4 cloves
1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/8 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 Amomum tsao-ko ,Cao Guo
3 amomum kravanh ,White Dou Kou

Instructions

Heat the spices in oil over the slowest fire for around 5 minutes until the scallion white becomes slightly brown and you can smell the strong aroma. Filter all the spices out and leave the oil in the pot.
Place around 5 tablespoons of red pepper powder in a bowl.
Re-heat the oil in the pot until slightly smoky and then pour half of the hot oil over the red pepper powder. Rest the left oil for 5 minutes.
Add another 2 tablespoons of red pepper powder, 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seed and 1/4 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn in the bowl. Add the leftover oil.

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So, here’s my issue. Heating spices in oil on the LOWEST heat for only five minutes resulted in very little of the spice flavor absorbing into the oil! I definitely recommend the method from the dan dan noodles chili oil, which first requires the oil to get up to temperature (on medium-low, not low heat) before adding the spices.

Next time, I will combine these recipes – using the extra spices like cumin, fennel, clove, and bay, but using the dandan chili oil method.

Of course, this chili oil is good – All Chili Oil is Beautiful – but my next plan is to combine all these chili oils into one perfect recipe. Complex from the Chinese five spice kick, super numbing (this chili oil calls for only 1/4t. Sichuan peppercorns, when this one calls for TWO TABLESPOONS,) and highly potent.

Stay tuned for the ultimate chili oil recipe – I’ll develop a recipe once I run out of this huge batch!

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