Although I love to eat with chili so much, but I am not a big fan of chili oil. I knew about chili oil for the first time when having dinner in Grand Indonesia Shopping Mall with my friends. We ate at one of the famous mie kangkung (noddle soup with kangkong and chicken in sweet soy sauce) food stall at the mall, and the noddle was served with chili oil. Surprisingly, they were the perfect combination and tasted really good. That was how I started to know chili oil. I know that was too late because chili oil is common in Chinese food as what I used to see here.
Since I like mie kangkung from this food stall a lot (and thankfully they already opened a branch near my parents’ house), I always try not to miss visiting this food stall whenever I go back to Jakarta, and I always have a bowl of this delicious noodle soup with chili oil. So far, I only eat chili oil with this dish, and I still try to find out what could go well with this chili oil too. I know its very common to eat with chili oil in Singapore, but I’m just not used to………………..but I already have some idea of how to use this chili oil in other dishes and hopefully will try them with my leftover chili oil in my fridge very soon.
So how did I finally make my own chili oil? Well, few days ago, I was craving to eat mie kangkung. Of course there was (and still is) no mie kangkung food stall in here, so the only way to eat this dish was to cook it myself, and of course I had to eat it with chili oil. So I started to look for chili oil recipe, and there were so many variations that made me confused. At the end, I just combined some of the recipes and used whatever ingredients that I had at home.
By the way, it turned out that my husband who usually didn’t like chili at all, liked this chili oil that I made, and he said the taste was unique and not too spicy. Thankfully I didn’t made it very spicy. I didn’t use peppercorn and dry chili at all, although if you like a stronger taste, you definitely must add these two ingredients.
I used garlic and shallot and fried them in the oil, and the result was fantastic……………….it smelt really nice and aromatic and different then chili oil that I usually had. Then again, I always love the smell of garlic being fried in cooking oil.
Making chili oil is very easy and cheap, so try this recipe if you like adding chili oil to your dish.
- 10 gr chili flakes
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 cm cinnamon (kayu manis)
- 4 star anise (pekak)
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 150 ml cooking oil
- Combine chili flakes, sugar, and salt in a bowl or a jar
- Heat a pan with oil in low heat, then add star anise and cinnamon. If you’re using dry chili, add this together with star anise and cinnamon
- After 2 minutes, add garlic
- After the garlic is aromatic, add shallot and let it cook until the garlic turn to brown (don’t let it burn because it will make the oil tastes bitter)
- Strain the oil and discard star anise, cinnamon, garlic, and shallot
- Pour the oil to the bowl containing chili flakes, salt, and sugar. Stir until sugar and salt are completely dissolve
- Keep the jar or bowl overnight before using the chili oil or putting it in the fridge. This will help the oil and chili blend together and will make it tastes better
- Store the jar or bowl (cover it) in the fridge