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Chinese Chilli Oil

Chinese Style Chilli Oil, a spicy condiment made with rapeseed oil loaded with lots of chilli flakes and other spices. Great drizzled on noodles, dumplings and vegetables or used to give a complex spicy flavour to dishes.

Ingredients of Note

Sichuan chilli flakes are used to create an authentic chilli oil however, these can be difficult to source. Using good quality Korean chilli flakes will give great-tasting results but will have a milder heat. 

Using the correct oil is important for creating the perfect chilli oil. A high-quality neutral oil with a high smoke point is the best to use. We use rapeseed(canola) oil but, Vegetable, grapeseed or peanut oil would also work well. Don’t use oils with a strong flavour or a low smoke point such as olive oil or coconut oil. 

Sichuan Peppercorns add a subtle citrusy flavour to the oil. Either the red or green variety can be used. The green has a stronger citrus flavour than the red so if all you have is the green variety use half of what’s listed in the recipe. Sichuan Pepper can be quite overpowering to some people. It has a numbing quality to it that makes your lips and tongue tingle slightly. If you know you like it you can add more. If you haven’t used it before start with a small amount to see what you can tolerate.

Chinese Chilli Oil

Serving Chilli Oil

We have a few recipes that use chilli oil as a condiment and as an ingredient.

Hot Dry Noodles

Hot Dry Noodles
Hot Dry Noodles (热干面, Re Gan Mian)
Noodles in a sesame and garlic-based sauce. Topped with Chinese preserved vegetables, chilli oil and spring onions. A breakfast dish from Wuhan city that’s delicious eaten any time of the day.
Check out this recipe

Chinese Chilli Oil

A spicy condiment made with rapeseed oil loaded with lots of chilli flakes and other spices. Great drizzled on noodles, dumplings and vegetables or used to give a complex spicy flavour to dishes.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Condiments & Sauces
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 500 ml


  • 2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns*
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • Stick of cinnamon
  • 500 ml rapeseed oil or other neutral oil
  • 30 g ginger thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic optional
  • ½ cup Sichuan chilli flakes or gochugaru*
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika* optional
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  • If adding the garlic, prepare the cloves by peeling them and lightly smashing them so they mostly stay together but are bruised.
  • In a large heatproof bowl, we use a saucepan, add the chilli flakes, paprika, black vinegar, salt and sesame seeds. Mix together to incorporate.
  • Toast the dry spices in a pan over medium-high heat for 30 seconds then add oil, ginger and garlic. Bring the temperature of the oil to around 100°C (210°F) and then turn the heat to low. Try and keep the oil at a constant temperature of 100°C (210°F).
  • Cook the oil and the spices on low for 25 minutes. The spices, garlic and ginger should be gently bubbling. If the garlic looks like it’s about to burn it can be removed from the oil.
  • Once the oil has been cooking for 25 minutes turn the temperature up to high and continue to heat the oil to 180°C (356°F).
  • When the oil is at 180°C (356°F) immediately remove the oil from the heat. Place a mesh strainer over the chilli flakes, so that the whole spices, garlic and ginger does not get added to the bowl. Carefully using a ladle, ladle roughly a third of the oil over the chilli flakes then stir to coat all the flakes in the oil. The hot oil will cause the chilli to bubble up so be careful and pour slowly.
  • Watching the temperature of the oil, wait until it reaches around 120°C before adding the rest of the oil to the chilli flakes.
  • Wait until the oil has cooled before adding to a sterilised jar. Then it should be left to sit for a day before using to let the flavours infuse into the oil. The oil can be kept in the fridge for up to a month.


  • If using green Sichuan peppercorns use half the amount listed in the recipe.
  • For authentic Sichuan chilli oil use Sichuan chilli flakes. If you have a hard time finding good quality Sichuan chilli flakes or you want the oil to have a milder heat, then a quality gochugaru will give great results.
  • Adding paprika will give the oil a redder appearance without affecting the taste too much.
Tried this recipe?Mention @mikeronm or tag #theveganplanetkitchen!

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