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An angled image of a jar of Chinese hot oil condiment with a spoonful scooped out and held above the jar.
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5 from 3 votes

Chinese Hot Oil - aka Chili Oil or Red Oil

This easy homemade chili oil is so much more than just spice and heat. Aromatic and well balanced, this iconic Chinese condiment will elevate your dishes and wow your palate!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Rest and Cooling Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Servings: 12
Calories: 103kcal
Author: Kitrusy



  • Combine the Sichuan pepper flakes, Korean pepper flakes, garlic, salt, and if using, dehydrated onion together in a heat-safe ceramic bowl.
    3 tbsp Sichuan pepper flakes, 1 tbsp Korean pepper flakes, 2 tsp Himalayan salt, 3 clove garlic, 2 tsp dehydrated onion
  • Add the peppercorns, bay leaf, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and fennel seeds to the oil in a small saucepan and heat until hot and "boiling/bubbling" (4-5 min) on med-med-high heat. Note: If the spices are browning too much, remove the pot from the heat. You want the temp to be around 250-300F
    1/2 cup peanut oil, 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns, 1 bay leaf, 1 small Cinnamon Stick, 6 cloves cloves, 2-3 slivers nutmeg, 2 tsp fennel seeds, 1/2 inch fresh ginger, 1 pod black cardamom
  • Strain the spices out from the oil and pour 1/2 the oil over your pepper flake mixture and stir. It will bubble and boil. Once it subsides, pour the remaining oil in and let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Stir in the sesame seeds, sesame oil and Chinese black vinegar to your hot oil and let it sit at room temperature to cool completely, stirring it occasionally to encourage the infusion.
    1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, 1 tsp toasted sesame oil, 2-3 tsp Chinese black vinegar
  • Once cooled, store your chili oil in a tightly sealed glass jar where it can be kept at room temperature for six months or in the fridge for up to 18 months.* see notes


  • This small-batch recipe makes approximately 6 oz. The recommended serving size is 1 tbsp.
  • If you don't have the Korean pepper flakes, simply substitute it with equal amounts of the Sichuan pepper flakes or red pepper flakes.
  • Note that storing your chili oil in the fridge may cause the oil to solidify or become cloudy, this is normal and once it is removed from the fridge and allowed to come to room temperature, it will return to its regular consistency.


Serving: 1tbsp | Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 434mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 798IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg