Thursday, January 4, 2018

home made chili oil

Fool me twice, shame on you. I have all but given up on store bought chili oil. The quality of oil is always poor and worst already rancid when I first open it. Like most things, if I can't get satisfaction I take the matter into my own hands.

I have been experimenting with the best technique and ingredients for making chili oil. I thought using extra virgin olive oil will be best, but the challenge is not to degrade the oil in the process. olive oil has very low boiling point. I made an excellent batch using Habanero peppers more than a year ago and I still have plenty left as it is so hot that you only need a tiny amount each time. A few days ago I came across some excellent Thai chili peppers so I thought why not make a batch of chili oil?

these are nice and fresh and has no mold (which they often do if sit around)

de-stem them

next I slice them open lengthwise and careful to keep all the seeds

I saved a little to soak in soy sauce and just use as chili soy sauce

The goal of this exercise is to extract the essence of the chili peppers and destroy as little as possible. Oil is a better medium than anything water base. I let the chili peppers slowly heat under extreme low heat to evaporate all the moisture. This takes a few hours as the key is to keep the temperature well below the boiling (smoking) point of the olive oil. Any moisture left in the mixture will cause mold in the chili oil during extended storage.

What is most interesting with this process is, for the first couple of hours as the moisture is being boiled off the oil gains very little flavor and the heat of the peppers. Only towards the end when most of the moisture has been boiled off that the oil takes on the flavors, heat, as well as turning red.

not knowing how much oil to use I error on the safe side by using very little; you want to remove it from the heat as soon as you no longer seeing any bubbles of the moisture

the result is this very hot chili oil; I dilute it slightly by adding fresh olive oil

I have consider adding some garlic at the beginning of the process. I will save that experiment for next time.

this is the chili soy sauce that I made on the side

I made this stir fry with Asian flowering chives; the chives are naturally sweet and delicious; they are precious

The ingredients for the stir fry are julienned pork, julienned fried gluten, shiitake mushroon, ginger, and flowering chives.

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