Love chilli oil? Learn how to make it at home

It’s always worth spending a little bit of time to make this spicy condiment

11 Mar 2022

Who doesn’t love a drizzle of spicy chilli sauce over their food, especially if it is made from Tabasco peppers? How about some chilli oil that’s all the rage on the internet? The pandemic got us hooked on to experimenting with quick recipes, and now the spotlight is on chilli oil drizzled noodles. So, move aside sourdough and Dalgona coffee, chilli oil inspired noodles is the new recipe on the block, with seasoned chefs and foodies giving it their own twist.

However, don’t just restrict this flavourful condiment to making noodles. Once you’re hooked, you’ll want to drizzle it on everything — sandwiches, bread slices and salads to heighten the flavours. But there’s nothing like making the oil at home yourself. All you require are crushed garlic, red chilli flakes, sugar and hot oil.

How to make it

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There is absolutely nothing new about emptying your favourite aromatics and spices in a bowl and pouring searing hot oil on top. If you like food that brings heat, then chilli oil is for you. The versatility of this oil is that it is the perfect complement to so many unexpected dishes — meat, fish, eggs and greens. Try adding peanuts, Sichuan peppercorns and various herbs and spices that can transform it into a flavour bomb.

The key to making this aromatic oil is to heat the oil hot enough without overheating it. This will help cook the spices thoroughly and let the oil get infused with various flavours. But if the oil is too hot, it will burn the pepper flakes and sesame seeds, and the chilli oil will taste bitter.

Pour the hot oil into a bowl with chilli flakes and let it bubble fiercely. Then mix everything together with a spoon and let the oil sit until cooled down. You can later filter the oil and discard the chilli flakes, or you can leave them in when you store the oil in an air-tight glass jar.

Opting for the right chilli flakes

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The best ones are the vibrant red Sichuan chillies. The blend also contains fewer seeds, so your chilli oil won’t end up becoming spicy. Alternatively, you can try Korean chilli flakes, an essential ingredient in Korean cuisine.

Ways to use it in cooking

As a marinade

Brush this oil over meat or fish and let it sit for half an hour in the refrigerator. Cook or grill the meat/fish and the oil will enhance the smokey flavour as the chilli flakes roast over the open flames.

Dipping sauce

Dipping spring rolls or dumplings in chilli oil mixed with soy sauce gives a sweet and spicy taste.


Noodles are the most obvious, with a splash of soy sauce and rice vinegar balancing the dish.

Have you tried making chilli oil at home? Tell us about your experience in the comment section below.

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