But this kitchen staple plays a big part in a recipe I’ll be posting soon in honor of Tết – the Lunar New Year that will arrive on Friday.
So you’ll want to DEFINITELY stay tuned!
To start, the Sichuan peppercorns and dried spices are slowly heated to infuse the oil.
Aromatic and floral Sichuan Chili Oil!
Pro Tip? Double the batch and give some away as gifts!
Sichuan Chili Oil
Makes approximately 21⁄4 cups
3 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole cloves
5 whole star anise
4 dried bay leaves
1 whole cinnamon stick
2 cups vegetable oil (or something neutral in flavor)
2 whole garlic cloves, smashed
1 inch piece fresh ginger, cut into slices
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup Sichuan chili flakes
In a small stainless steel* saucepan, heat the peppercorns, coriander, cloves, star anise, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and oil over medium heat. Once the oil begins to bubble, bring the heat down to low. Allow the oil to infuse over low heat for one hour, stirring every 5-10 minutes. The aromatics should not get too dark so you’ll need to adjust the heat as needed.
After an hour, add the garlic and ginger and raise to medium-low heat. Allow it to bubble and infuse for an additional 2-3 minutes and remove from heat. Allow the oil to cool for 1-2 minutes.
Place the salt and chili flakes in a heatproof bowl and place a strainer on top. Slowly pour the infused oil through the strainer. Remove the strainer and discard the spices. Stir the oil well and allow to cool completely before transferring it to a jar or other container. The oil can be stored in refrigerator for a year.
*You’ll want to use a light bottom pan so that you can see if the oil and spice are getting too dark.