One of the things I love best about takeout Chinese food is the small condiment cup of fiery chili oil served with egg rolls. The spice-infused oil goes well with just about anything.
It is easy and economical to make your own in small quantities. Just be sure not to get your oil too hot and burn the chilis.
10-12 dry red chili pods, each being about 2″ long
1/2 cup peanut or vegetable oil
1 tbs. pure sesame oil (optional)
1 small chunk of crushed ginger (optional)
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
Cut the stems off the chilis and ensure they are clean and free of dust, or other debris. Crush them in a mortar or use a food processor and pulse for about 10 seconds.
Place the crushed chili in a glass jar with a tight fitting cover, large enough to hold 1/2 cup. Add the salt.
Heat 1/2 cup peanut oil in a wok until it just starts to smoke. The temperature at this point will be about 300-320 degrees F. Remove from heat and let cool for three minutes, or until the temperature is between 225-240 degrees F. Pour over the chilies (add the optional spices if you like) and seal the jar. Let cool at room temperature for at least one hour, then place in your fridge.
Will store for one month refrigerated.
Great on spring rolls, egg rolls, dumplings or noodles.
Makes 3/4 cup. Portion what you need and allow to warm up to room temperature before serving.