Fuchsia Dunlop's Chili Oil

This fiery condiment can be used in place of just about any store-bought chilli oil. This week, we're using it in Fuchsia Dunlop's Cold Chicken with a Spicy Sichuanese Sauce from Every Grain of Rice.

Reprinted from Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking by Fuchsia Dunlop. Copyright 2012 by Fuchsia Dunlop. Photographs copyright 2012 by Cris Terry. Published by W.W. Norton & Company. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.

Recipe Facts

Active: 10 mins
Total: 24 hrs
Serves: 48 servings
Makes: 3 cups

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  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (500ml) cooking oil

  • 4 ounces (100g) SIchuanese or Korean ground chiles

  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

  • Small piece ginger, unpeeled, crushed


  1. Heat the oil over a high flame to about 400 degrees, then leave for 10 minutes to cool to around 275 degrees.

  2. Place the ground chillies, sesame seeds, and ginger in a heatproof bowl. Have a little cool oil or a cupful of water on hand. When the oil has cooled to the right temperature, pour a little on to the chillies; it should fizz gently but energetically and release a rich, roasty aroma. Pour over the rest of the oil and stir. If you think the oil is too hot and the chillies are likely to burn, simply add a little cool oil to release the excess heat. Do, though, make sure that the oil is hot enough: without the fizzing, it won't generate the rich, roasty fragrance you need. If you pour all the oil on to the chillies, then discover it's not quite hot enough, you can return the whole lot to a saucepan and heat gently until it smells fabulous and the color is a deep ruby red, but do take care as not to burn the chillies. (The chillies will seethe and fizz like a witch's cauldron as you heat them, releasing the most marvellous aromas, but can easily start to burn and blacken.)

  3. When the oil has cooled completely, decant it and the chilli sediment into jars and store in a dark, cool place. Leave it to settle for at least a day before using.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
88 Calories
10g Fat
0g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 48
Amount per serving
Calories 88
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 3mg 15%
Calcium 1mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 8mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)