Make Your Own Chili Garlic Sauce to Spice Up the Chinese New Year

In the midst of large round tables where grand lauriats take place, center turntables spin around quintessential Chinese condiments. There’s often soy sauce, or black vinegar, but always a mound of chili, ranging from hearty XO sauces filled with chopped and preserved tiny scallops, to fresh bird’s eye chilies to be mixed into mounds of rice. The most common iteration is a bold oil, which packs away tons of heat, and can be paired with dipping sauces for a more electrifying bite. Often known as la jiao jiang, there are many forms of the typical Chinese chili garlic oil, which can include sambal paste or black vinegar. This recipe strips it down to its basics, to make for a sauce that can be poured onto virtually any dish, from those Chinese in origin, to those simply in need of a little heat.


Chili Garlic Oil Recipe



Serving Size

8 people

Active Time

15 mins

Total Time

25 mins

Instructions for Chili Garlic Oil

  1. Heat the oil over a low flame, and slowly sauté the ginger, garlic, shallots, and salt. Cook the aromatics slowly because you want the moisture to evaporate—about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Once the garlic mixture just begins to brown, add the chili. Continue to cook the chili oil until the garlic and shallots start to look crisp but not burnt.
  3. Reserve in sterilized jars, and store in the refrigerator. Use as a dipping sauce or add it to anything that could use a kick.

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