Homemade Chili Oil

Chili Oil, the quintessential Chinese condiment. As with almost anything else, chili oil is much better homemade. Incredibly easy as well — only requiring 5 minutes of active time!

A homemade chili oil will top any store-bought chili oil by ten-fold. If you haven’t been making your own, you are seriously missing out. A good bottle of it will last you a very long time. It is quite the perfect accompaniment of any pancake, bun, dumpling, noodles, or porridge.

Homemade Chili Oil

5 from 9 votes
Recipe by George L. Course: CondimentCuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Chili oil, the quintessential Chinese condiment — the perfect accompaniment of any pancake, bun, dumpling, noodles, or porridge.


  • 1 cup vegetable oil (or other neutral oil)

  • 1 inch ginger, peeled

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1 whole star anise

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

  • 1/3 cup Chinese red chili flakes (substitute: gochugaru)

  • 1 teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper

  • 1 teaspoon ground five-spice

  • 1 cassia bark (substitute: cinnamon stick)

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1 pinch msg (optional)

  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar (substitute: rice vinegar)


  • In a heat-safe bowl, combine star anise, bay leaf, cassia bark (or cinnamon stick), white sesame seeds, red chili flakes, five-spice, ground Sichuan pepper, salt, msg (if adding), and Chinese black vinegar.
  • Heat vegetable oil on medium heat along with the whole peeled ginger as well as crushed garlic, left in their pods. When the ginger and the garlic both turn golden-brown, fish them out of the oil and immediately pour oil into the prepared heat-safe bowl. Note: The oil should not be too hot, otherwise you will end up with burnt chili flakes. Shoot for ~300 F. Be careful as the oil will sizzle as soon as it hits the spices.
  • Let the chili oil cool completely before transferring into a mason jar, or other air-tight glass container. Store in refrigerator.


  • Oil Temperature. How hot you heat the oil depends on how toasted your chili flakes are as well. Some chili flakes come more toasted than others, so adjust oil temperature accordingly.
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2 years ago

Ingredients list five spice (but not red chilis). Directions reference chilis but not five spice. Seems something needs edited.

mary g
mary g
2 years ago

Do you strain the solids out of chili oil before pouring into mason jar? How long will this keep in a cool dark pantry?

2 years ago

I love your recipes and tiktoks. Hoping to learn alot and go vegan. Thank you. Hope your hand is better.