Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cantonese Chili Oil 港式辣椒油

This is condiment that you might get when you dine at a Cantonese restaurants. It is quite different from the Sichuan chili oil as wet spices are being used here, more like a less glamourous version of X.O  sauce I  think (I'll be posting the recipe in the near future). I decided to make this to go with the lo mai kai tonight. It is sweet, spicy, savoury and goes very well with just about anything!! Use it as a condiment or chuck some into your next stir fry and you'll be making this on a regular basis.
P.S I managed to get this recipe from my friend W's mother in Hong Kong just before her mahjong session was to start. Thanks Aunty E!

you'll need;
300g of shallots, chopped
250g of garlic, chopped
150g of bird chilies, chopped
80g of dried shrimp, soaked, drained
and chopped
25g of Chinese ham (optional)
100g of crushed chilies
3 tbs of sugar
2 tbs of chicken powder
500 to 700 ml of cooking oil

Blend garlic, chilies, shallots and dried shrimps in a food processor to a course mixture.

Fry blended spices in cooking oil for 5 minutes on medium heat, add the rest of the ingredients and continue to cook on very low heat for 20 minutes. Stir from time to time to avoid solids sticking to the bottom.

Place chili oil in a sterilised jar, use it as a condiment or in stir fries.


  1. Gimme your address pls, I've got something to ship to you. SERIOUSLY!

  2. This is awsome! I always wanted to make this but was not able to get a good recipe and the shop bought ones are not very nice! Thanks!!!

  3. Wow this looks like the real thing!!!

  4. Haha Kenny I'll email you the address later, just don't send me snakes :)

    Thanks BIBI, make a bigger batch and send some over :)

    Anonymous this is the real thing haha!

  5. wahh.. chili oil... i dont know how they make at the restaurant, now i know.. thanks for sharing!!

  6. Wow I love this alot ! Can u send me a bottle pls , mine is finishing soon

  7. Thanks A Full-Timed Housefly! I'll send you some the next time I make it :)

  8. I love this sauce, always have to ask for extra and often the waiters are not too please about that haha. Thanks for the recipe!!

  9. It looks even better than those served in the restaurants! Can't wait for the X.O sauce, I think I'll be making that as X'mas gift!

  10. You are welcome BIBI! perhaps you can byo chili oil next time!!

    Thanks love to eat! That is a very good idea!

  11. My favourite Cantonese restuarant closed down and I have been having serious chilli oil withdrawl for a year! No other restuarant has been able to match the taste... but this receipe looks spot on. Thanks so much!

  12. this is lovely! tried today, the first time i cooked and my dad ate twice his usual portion! great stuff!

  13. what a lovely recipe. i was just heavier on the seasoning and added in some dried scallops too. now i can have this anytime, anywhere. thanks!

  14. How long does this keep for?

  15. I find about 6 months if you use a clean spoon and a sterile jar

  16. Hi, was wondering what chicken powder you use as I can't find chicken powder in the UK supermarkets. Will chicken stock cubes do?

  17. Hi,
    I made this recipe pretty much as it is except for the Chinese ham and shallots. I live in South Africa and we don't get shallots here, so I used a mixture of regular onions and red onions.
    I see the Chinese ham is optional so I just left it out as we don't get that here either.
    My last batch is finished and I want to make another... because it was SO damn good :)
    But this time I want to include Chinese ham which I obviously can't.

    So I'm considering finely chopped bacon... maybe adding it to the frying mixture 10 or 15 minutes before the end.

    What concerns me is having the fat from the bacon merging with the oil. I store my chili oil in the fridge, and we all know what bacon fat does when it cools... it becomes this thick, disgusting muck. So if bacon fat fuses with the chili oil, and I refrigerate it, I'm worried about lumps of solid bacon fat forming in my chili oil.

    Another concern is that because the bacon is meat, it may go off sooner... or would the oil help preserve it longer? I eat a lot of this stuff so I doubt any jar would be in my fridge longer than a month or 2 (my last batch yielded 8 jars... some I gave away, but I went through about 4 jars in +-6 weeks).

    Has anyone tried using bacon? Would anyone recommend using or not using it? Ideas of substitutes?
    Thanks :)


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