Chili Oil

I’ve been watching all those Youtubes of that guy touring Asia as a foodie, going to good places to eat and chowing down.  Always he is daubing on a hot condiment of some sort but he’s never far from a dish of chili oil.  I’ve looked at some recipes and this is a melding of what I saw that I had some of the parts for.  I’m persuaded that every chef or family that makes this stuff as a matter of course has their own recipe.Today, mine starts with 2 heads of garlic, peeled and minced, simmered in a cup of 225° oil for a half hour or so.  While that is going, heat another half cup of  oil in another small saucepan and add star anise, cinnamon sticks, black peppercorns, sichuan peppercorns, and annatto seeds.I put in the annatto seeds because I wanted the color, they are optional.  Heat this at 225° or so for the same half-hour as the garlic.  Don’t burn the garlic!  You want it to be golden.  I hover over mine with a laser guided thermometer gun thing.The three on the left were all grown in containers in the patio garden.  I really wanted to get some of those Sichuan peppercorns in the mix, and those Korean crushed red peppers weren’t doing any good just sitting in that container.  Reminds me, I have a head of Napa cabbage and I’m all out of kimchi.I added 1 cup of a mix of those dried peppers.  Mostly cayenne, some serrano, less habanero than that, and a good representation of the other two.  I strained the solids out of the other batch and stirred the nice red oil into the pan with all the rest.  I heated it for a few more minutes and then let it cool.I just had some on this fried rice with a fried egg.  This stuff is ridiculously good.  I added more as the meal went along.  Get to a spoonful that didn’t have any red oil on it?  Spoon more on! This batch wasn’t that hot, ‘tho I do note that the Sichuan peppercorns did add a little of their famous numbing quality.