Make Your Own Unforgettable Fragrant Chili Oil

The ingredients laid out to make fragrant chilli oil.

Homemade Chili Oil is the most fragrant way to spice up any meal. (Image: Jenny Low via Nspirement)

Prepare time: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Ready in: 35 mins
This unforgettable Fragrant Chili Oil is a staple on our Asian dinner table, much like Americans with their ketchup — but this is a healthier option. We use this chili oil to cook vegetables, meat, and seafood, fry noodles, or just drizzle it over almost any meal. It is MSG-free and smells amazing. You could get creative and make twice the amount if you wanted to gift one jar to a neighbor or friend. It’s that good! And not too hard to make at all. 
Mix the dry chili and Korean chilli in a bowl.
Mix the dry chili and Korean chili in a bowl. (Image: Jenny Low via Nspirement)


  • 3 shallots
  • 2 fresh chilies
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 4 pieces ginger
  • 5 dried chilies
  • 8 pandan leaves
  • 2 Chinese cardamom pods
  • 4 cups oil
  • 1/3 cup crushed chili
  • 1/3 cup Korean crushed chili
  • 1/4 cup crushed Sichuan peppercorn
The secret to making delicious chili oil is to heat the oil hot enough without overheating it.
The secret to making delicious chili oil is to heat the oil hot enough without overheating it. (Image: Jenny Low via Nspirement)


1. Wash the first 10 ingredients from above. Leave to dry.

2. Mix crushed chili and Korean chili in a bowl.

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3. Wash crushed Sichuan peppercorns and drain away water with a sieve. Fry in a pan (no oil) on low heat until it starts to let off a fragrance.

4. Remove and put in a bowl with chilies from step 2 above. Stir in 1 tbsp of oil.

5. Put the remaining oil in a saucepan, mix in all the washed ingredients from step 1 above, and heat on low until it comes to a boil. When oil is fragrant and brown, remove ingredients with a strainer.

6. Take out some oil and mix with chilies from step 4 above. Then slowly stir in the remaining oil so as not to burn the crushed chilies and Sichuan peppercorns.

7. Ready for use.

Chilli oil in jar.
And here is the final product: A large jar of fragrant chili oil – Enjoy! (Image: Jenny Low via Nspirement)

This recipe is spicy hot. Reduce chili amount for a milder version. 

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