Easy Chinese Chilli Oil

Im a big fan of Chinese Chilli Oil. You know, that deep red spicy oil that comes in a jar that you can slather on almost anything to give it a kick? But my in-laws take it to the next level. They always have a Costco sized jar at the dinner table. To say they are a fan of spice is an understatement!

Of course, I had to check the ingredients (I’m pretty sure they think I am super annoying whenever I do that!) and found most have MSG or some other preservatives in there that you honestly do not need. They do nothing for the flavour. All it is is some oil and a few spices. Make this cleaner version of easy Chinese Chilli Oil at home and it will last you forever in the fridge in an airtight container.

Chinese Chilli Oil. Put that -ish on everything!

Chinese Chilli Oil

A cleaner version of this popular spicy enhancer (free of preservatives and MSG). You can even adjust the level of spice by changing up the amount of red chilli flakes you add to the oil. You will want to put this -ish on everything!
Cook Time15 minutes
Cooling Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: sauce, Seasoning
Keyword: dairy free, gluten free, keto, Paleo, sugar free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Whole30
Servings: 1 cup


  • 1 cup canola oil (or any light flavoured oil)
  • 5 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp whole sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup red chilli flakes


  • In a medium saucepan add the 1 cup oil, 5 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 whole sichuan peppercorns and 2 bay leaves. Allow to heat and come to a simmer on high, then turn the heat down to low.
  • Keep it at a low simmer for at least 15 minutes. Watching to make sure the spices dont burn and turn black (if they do, the flavour of the oil will be off).
  • Meanwhile, in a mason jar or other heatproof container with a lid, add the 1 tsp salt and 1/2 cup red pepper flakes (feel free to reduce this quantity if you want less of a kick – this is meant to be very spicy!)
  • Once the spices are done infusing the oil, they will have turned brown and be quite fragrant. Turn off the heat.
  • Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the infused oil into the jar with the chilli flakes while it is still hot. The hot oil will make the chilli flakes simmer a bit, this is normal.
  • Set aside and allow the oil to come to room temperature. Cover, and store in the fridge till you want to use it.
  • Serve on whatever you like, try it on rice, dumplings, or even on salad. A little goes a long way!

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