Nov 3

Baby, it’s hot in here! Make your own chili oil.

in Chinese, Japanese, Recipes By Region, Recipes by Type, Sauces & Condiments

Tientsin chili peppers, have ya ever heard of ’em? Maybe not, but I bet you’ve seen them before! These are the peppers that most of you probably avoid when eating your kung pao chicken (I’m weird, I like to eat mine). These peppers are natives of the Tientsin (Tianjin) province in China. They are a beautiful bright orange red and are typically about 1 to 2 inches in length. They are very hot, measuring in at 60,000 Scoville units, about an 8 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. (Go here to learn more about the Scoville scale.)
One of my favorite things in Chinese cuisine is chili oil–a deliciously spicy oil infused with chili peppers. It’s good in stir fries, soups, on chicken, in dipping sauces, etc. In Japan my favorite gyoza joint provided pump bottles of chili oil so that you could add a bit to your gyoza dipping sauce–YUM!
This weekend I experimented with making my own chili oil. Here is the first method I tried:

Chili Oil

2 Tbsp. + 1/2 c. sesame oil
10 dried tien tsin chili peppers

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of sesame oil in a saucepan.

2. When oil is very hot, add the peppers and fry until they become brown (2-5 minutes).

3. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup sesame oil.

4. Let cool for 10 minutes and then carefully (it’s HOT!!!) strain out the peppers and seeds (this is optional, you can leave them in if you want to) and pour the oil into a glass storage container.

**In other news, thanks to this post I now know that today is National Doughnut Day! I guess that means we’re all required to go and eat a doughnut today–so get to it! I’ll report back tomorrow about my doughnut, will you?

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Bob November 3, 2008 at 2:00 pm

Mmmm, chilis. I have a bag of these that I’ve been meaning to make some kung pao with. My girlfriend won’t touch spicy food though, so I need to find a good time to do it. So this looks good, but did it work well?

ZOMG national doughnut day?! I’m going to Dunkin Donuts right now.


LollyChops November 3, 2008 at 5:28 pm

This looks sooo good.. I love the chili paste with the crushed up chili skins and seeds and everything (in oil)! It looks like tomato sauce on the outside (all innocent and red looking) and one bite knocks your teeth out! I just love that stuff! Let us know if the oil turned out good!


K and S November 3, 2008 at 5:31 pm

love la-yu :) makes gyoza so much more yummy…gotta get some donuts…


Jackie November 3, 2008 at 6:24 pm

Sweet! I ate a doughnut earlier today and I didn’t even know it was D-day!! Man, I better go eat another now that I know…


Michelle November 3, 2008 at 8:13 pm

Oh, this looks so nice! I’ll have to definitely try it.


Esteban November 4, 2008 at 3:00 am

Wait a minute…aren’t those the ones that are covertly placed in between bites of Chinese food? 8 out of 10 on a heat scale? Are you kidding–they’re like a 100!


Misha November 4, 2008 at 7:45 am

Today (Nov. 4th), Krispy Kreme is giving out a free doughnut for election day! So if you didn’t get yours yesterday, you can get a yummy free one today!

The chili oil is a great idea. I had so many hot chili’s given to me from my neighbor, I had dried them not knowing about this good way to use them!


Meg November 4, 2008 at 8:24 am

This is awesome! Thanks!


John and Lisa Howard-Fusco November 4, 2008 at 12:45 pm

oooOOOooo…must try this! – John


Jack November 11, 2014 at 3:28 pm

You write, “These peppers are natives of the Tientsin (Tianjin) province in China.”

All chile peppers are natives of the Americas. They moved to Asia and elsewhere after the European voyages to the New World began.


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