This quick and easy homemade miso Chili Garlic Oil can elevate any dish to the next level! It’s the most versatile condiment that you can use on rice, noodles, congee, vegetables, or dumplings! With a handful of ingredients, you’ll have the most delicious chili oil ever! Trust me, you’ll want to use it on everything!
Chili oil is a classic staple in most Asian households and for a good reason - it’s so unbelievably versatile and you can use it to enhance almost anything! There are many different versions out there, and any family that makes their own has their own rendition of it with different spices and preferences.
But this version of garlic oil isn’t your average traditional chili oil - it has more depth and umami, thanks to the miso! This recipe is partially inspired by one of my favorite chili oils which comes from a local congee restaurant - it's garlicky, salty with a hint of onion and I put it on everything. The classic flavors are truly irresistible!
Read on to learn exactly how to make this delicious chili garlic oil recipe today!
What is Chili Garlic Oil?
Chili garlic oil is a delicious condiment that brings a burst of spicy, garlicky flavor to a variety of dishes.
This spicy chili oil recipe is a fusion of garlic, chilis, shallots, and various other ingredients that are cooked in oil to extract their essence, creating a fiery, aromatic oil that is a staple in many Asian cuisines.
Making chili garlic oil at home is an excellent idea. Not only is it additive-free and allows you to control the level of spiciness, but the taste is simply out of this world.
The intense flavor of garlic combined with the heat of chilis creates a condiment that can transform even the simplest of dishes, like noodles, dumplings, or fried rice into dishes you won’t be able to get enough of. This is something you’d always want in your pantry, trust me!
Why You’ll Love This Chili Garlic Oil Recipe
- Quick and Easy: With some simple steps and easy ingredients, you can make this miso chili sauce in just 15 minutes!
- Family Favorite: This is not your traditional chili oil. The addition of miso gives it a unique flavor profile that is sure to become a favorite in your household. The combination of shallots, garlic, Sichuan chili powder, and miso creates a garlicky, salty flavor with a hint of onion that's hard to resist.
- Great To Use On Everything: This miso chili garlic oil is incredibly versatile. You can use it to enhance the flavor of your rice, noodles, vegetables, or dumplings. It’s a great way to add a spicy kick to your meals!
- Delicious: The umami boost from the miso, the heat from the chili powder, the crunch from the shallots, and the aroma from the garlic all combine to make this chili oil incredibly flavorful and delicious.
- Crowd Pleaser: Whether you're hosting a dinner party or just cooking for your family, this chili garlic oil is a surefire crowd-pleaser. It is the perfect condiment to have on hand to add a burst of flavor to any dish.
- Stores Well: Once made, this chili garlic oil can be stored in a glass jar in the fridge and used as needed. This means you can always have a flavorful condiment on hand, ready to spice up your meals.
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Chili Garlic Oil
All you need are some incredibly simple, pantry-staple ingredients to make this delicious chili garlic oil recipe at home.
Here's an overview of the specific ingredients for this recipe. For the exact ingredients and measurements, please scroll to the recipe card below.
- Soy sauce: This is the salty element in the chili miso oil. It also provides a bit of umami flavor that enhances the other ingredients and also thins out the miso so that it can be mixed more evenly. I use light soy sauce for this recipe since the miso provides the bulk of the sodium.
- Miso: This ingredient is not traditionally used in chili oil, but in this recipe, it adds a depth of flavor that's rich, salty, and slightly sweet. It also gives the oil a bit more substance. I use white miso (shiro) so that it doesn't overpower all the other flavors.
- Garlic: An essential ingredient in any garlic chili oil recipe. When cooked with the hot oil, it loses its raw edge and gives the oil a wonderful garlicky flavor.
- Shallots: These add a hint of sweetness and a bit of texture to the chili oil. They also contribute to the oil's overall oniony flavor. I highly recommend this ingredient. If you can't find shallots, you can use any type of small onion instead.
- Neutral oil: This forms the bulk of the chili oil. Avocado oil is a great choice due to its high smoke point. It allows the other flavors to shine without adding any flavor of its own. But you can also use canola oil, corn oil, vegetable oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, or safflower oil. I don't recommend using olive oil for this recipe since it has a low smoking point and a strong flavor to it which can overpower the chili oil.
- Sichuan Chili Flakes/Powder: This gives the chili oil its heat. It is a type of chili powder that's particularly flavorful and aromatic. Plus, it gives the most flavor and color to the chili oil. Make sure you don’t accidentally use Sichuan pepper or peppercorns in its place since they’re completely different ingredients.
- Sugar: Just a touch of sugar is used to balance out the heat and saltiness of the chili oil.
- Sesame seeds: These add a bit of crunch to the chili oil and a subtle nutty flavor. I like to add toasted sesame seeds to the oil for a bit of texture and substance. If your sesame seeds are raw (pale yellow in color), toast them in the pan for a few minutes until they are golden brown to bring out the nuttiness flavor before adding it to the garlic chili oil mix.
- Sesame oil: This is an optional ingredient that adds a nutty flavor to the chili oil. If you do use this, make sure to mix it in at the very end. I find that cooking or applying heat to sesame oil, makes it lose a bit of flavor.
What Type of Chilies to Use
This is a very versatile condiment, and to be honest, there is no right or wrong type of dried chilis for this recipe. The type of dried chilis will depend on how you like your chili oil. Some chili flakes are more flavorful, but not very spicy and some chili flakes are more on the spicy side without a lot of flavor.
You can mix and match your chili flakes or use one kind. I highly recommend experimenting with the different types of chili flakes until you find the one you like. I personally like the Sichuan chili powder because it has a bit more flavor and it is not very spicy.
Red Pepper Flakes
If you cannot find Sichuan Chili Flakes/Powder, you can definitely use the red pepper flakes you find at your local grocery store. It is usually made with a mix of chili flakes most commonly cayenne pepper and it works just as well.
I use it when I'm out of Sichuan chili powder and I don't have time to go to the grocery store. I find that from the 3 chilis listed here, it usually has the least amount of flavor but it is the spiciest of the 3 types of chili flakes on this list but this will vary depending on the brand.
Chinese Chili Flakes
These are almost the same as Sichuan chili powder, except they are in larger flakes so it has a bit more texture. You can use solely this type of chili for this ingredient if you want a bit more texture to your sauce.
It has almost the same amount of flavor as the Sichuan chili powder and it is also not very spicy.
Sichuan Chili Powder
This is a mix of Sichuan chili flakes and finely ground chili pepper powder. I find it has the most flavor from the 3 and it is not very spicy. If you like your chili oil spicier, you can mix in a bit of cayenne into it.
How to Make Chili Garlic Oil (Step by Step)
Making this incredible chili garlic oil recipe at home is super easy and will give you great results every single time. Here's how to make it step by step:
Mix the Soy Sauce and Miso First: Since miso is thick and harder to work on, we need to thicken it with a bit of soy sauce first. Start by combining the soy sauce with the miso in a bowl. Stir until the miso is thoroughly mixed into the soy sauce.
Combine Dry Ingredients: In a heat-safe bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients except for the garlic and shallots. Stir the thinned-out miso mixture into these dry ingredients until they are evenly distributed.
Add Grated Garlic: Next, grate the garlic and layer it thinly on top of the mixed ingredients in the bowl. It's important to keep it at the top because we want the hot oil to come into contact with the garlic first to slightly cook it to take out that raw garlic bite.
Chop the Shallots: Finely chop the shallots and set them aside for later use.
Cook Shallots in Oil: Pour some oil into a small pan and add the chopped shallots. Turn the stove to medium heat and cook the shallots until they turn a golden brown color.
Pour Boiling Oil Over Ingredients: Once the shallots are golden brown, carefully pour the hot oil into the bowl of ingredients. Concentrate on pouring the oil over the raw garlic to slightly cook it and remove its strong bite.
Let It Cool and Store: Allow the chili miso mixture to cool before transferring it to a glass jar. You can then store it in the fridge for later use, or use it right away to add a kick of flavor to your dishes.
Joyce’s Tips For Making the Best Chili Garlic Oil Ever
- Opt for Flavorless Oil: When making this spicy chili oil recipe, use a flavorless oil like avocado oil due to its high smoking point. Avoid using olive oil as its strong flavor can overpower the chili oil.
- Add Sesame Oil at the End: To retain the nutty flavors of sesame oil, add it at the end after you have poured the hot oil over the dry ingredients and mixed everything together.
- Make Sure the Garlic Is At the Top Before Pouring In the Hot Oil: It's important to keep it at the top because we want the hot oil to come into contact with the garlic first to slightly cook it to take out that raw garlic bite and help the flavors of the chili oil meld better.
- Use a Heat-Safe Bowl: Make sure to use a heat-safe bowl when making this condiment to prevent it from cracking due to the hot oil.
- Allow the Oil to Return to Room Temperature: If you refrigerate the chili oil, and the oil has solidified, let it sit at room temperature for about five minutes before using it. This will help the oil return to its liquid form and enhance the flavor.
- Store in a Glass Jar: Store your homemade chili garlic oil in a glass jar to avoid plastic leaching into your flavorful condiment.
- Control the Heat: If you prefer a spicier garlic chili sauce, add a bit of cayenne pepper to the dry ingredients before adding the hot oil. This will give your sauce an extra kick.
- Use Regular Chili Flakes as a Substitute: If you cannot find Sichuan Chili Flakes/Powder, you can definitely use the red pepper flakes you find at your local grocery store. It is usually made with a mix of chili flakes most commonly cayenne pepper and it works just as well for this recipe. Read the section above to learn about different types of chili flakes.
How to Use Chili Oil
Chili oil is a very versatile condiment and depending on how spicy you make it you can put it on many different dishes to enhance the flavors. Remember to mix the oil with the chili flakes together before using it to get the most flavor out of it.
Here are a few things I love drizzling it on:
- Plain white rice - Mixing this chili garlic sauce with plain white rice is my favorite way of flavoring my rice to give it a bit of a kick. This also is a great congee topping as well and gives congee a lot of extra flavor.
- Dumplings - Drizzling it on dumplings along with a bit of soy sauce on both pan-fried and boiled dumplings is usually the only way I eat them.
- Noodles - Garlic chili oil can transfer almost any noodle dish and give it a wonderful flavor boost! I like to add this into soup noodles by mixing it directly into the soups, and I like to add this to boiled and stir-fried noodles as well to give it a flavor boost.
- Vegetables - Whether it's oven-roasted, steamed, or boiled, I love drizzling a bit of miso chili oil to my vegetables for a bit more flavor and spice. Sometimes when I'm pressed for time, I will mix this in with raw chopped veggies as a quick and easy garlic miso sauce, almost like a mild salad dressing.
- Dim Sum - If you have dim sum at home, you can set aside some chili oil to dip your siu mai, shrimp dumplings (har gow), or rice rolls in it.
- Grilled Meats - I like to dip grilled meats into this chili oil to give it a bit more flavor.
Recipe Variation Ideas for Chili Garlic Oil
This delicious miso chili garlic oil recipe is so flavorful and easy to make, you'll want to try out some of these delicious variations! Here are some great ideas:
Extra Spicy: For those who enjoy a fiery flavor, this variation is perfect. Add an additional tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes or a teaspoon of spicy chili powder to the original recipe. This will give your homemade chili garlic oil an extra kick that's perfect for drizzling over noodles, like peanut noodles or fried rice.
Make it Sweeter: If you enjoy a hint of sweetness in your sauces, consider adding an additional teaspoon of sugar to your chili oil. It will help balance the heat from the chilis and add an intriguing flavor profile to your condiment.
Infuse with Star Anise and Cinnamon: If you want to add a unique and warming twist to your chili oil, consider infusing it with star anise and a cinnamon stick. Add these ingredients to the oil while you're heating it with the shallots. This will impart a subtle sweet-spicy flavor to your condiment, making it a great addition to pasta or vegetable dishes.
Bay Leaf Infusion: For a subtle yet complex flavor, add a bay leaf or two to the oil when you're cooking the shallots. The bay leaves will infuse the oil with their distinct aroma, giving your chili oil an extra layer of flavor that pairs beautifully with eggs or vegetables.
Frequently Asked Questions
Avocado oil is a great option for this recipe due to its high smoking point and health benefits. However, you can also use other flavorless oils such as canola oil, corn oil, vegetable oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, or safflower oil. Avoid using olive oil as its strong flavor can overpower the chili oil and it has a low smoking point.
Absolutely! If you prefer a spicier garlic chili sauce, you can mix in a bit of cayenne pepper with the dry ingredients before adding the hot oil.
Placing the garlic at the top helps make sure that it gets cooked when you pour the hot oil over the dry ingredients. This process helps to remove the spicy raw garlic flavor, allowing the flavors of the chili oil to blend better.
This versatile condiment can be used to enhance the flavor of a variety of dishes. It pairs well with rice, noodles, vegetables, dumplings, and even avocado toast. It is also a delicious addition to pasta, fried rice, and eggs.
Sure, you can! Adding star anise, bay leaf, or a cinnamon stick to the oil while frying the shallots could add a nice depth of flavor to your chili oil. Just remember to strain them out with a fine-meshed strainer before combining the oil with the other ingredients.
How to Store Leftover Chili Garlic Oil
So, you've whipped up a batch of our spicy chili miso oil recipe and now you're wondering how to store the leftovers of this flavor-packed condiment. Well, you're in luck, because this homemade chili garlic oil is incredibly easy to store and even easier to use again.
I personally prefer storing my miso chili oil in the fridge and it’ll last there up to 6 months. Just make sure you have it stored in an air-tight container (preferably glass, so that the plastic doesn't leech into the oil). If you plan to keep your chili oil out at room temperature, then I would store it for only 2-3 months.
The oil may solidify in the fridge depending on the type of oil you used (avocado oil, for example, is known to do this), but don't worry - this won't affect the flavor or quality of your homemade chili garlic oil.
To use again, just take it out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about five minutes. The oil will return to its liquid form and the chili oil will regain its robust flavor.
Freezing oils is generally not recommended. The ingredients like shallots, garlic, and chili powder can lose their texture and flavor after freezing and thawing. So, for the best taste and texture, it’s best to stick to refrigerating your chili oil.
Recipes To Use Up Leftover Sichuan Chili Flakes
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Miso Garlic Chili Oil
Joyce's Recipe Notes
- Use neutral flavorless oil to make chili oil. I like to use avocado oil since it has a high smoking point and is healthier than most oils but you can also use canola oil, corn oil, vegetable oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, or safflower oil. I don't recommend using olive oil for this recipe since it has a low smoking point and a strong flavor to it which can overpower the chili oil.
- Sichuan pepper/peppercorn is a completely different spice than Sichuan chili flakes. Do not use Sichuan pepper/peppercorns for this recipe.
- If you cannot find Sichuan Chili Flakes/Powder, you can definitely use the red pepper flakes you find at your local grocery store. It is usually made with a mix of chili flakes most commonly cayenne pepper and it works just as well for this recipe. (see blog post for more details of other types of chili flakes)
- If you like a spicier garlic chili oil, mix in a bit of cayenne pepper with the dry ingredients before adding the hot oil
- Place the garlic on top of all the ingredients right before pouring the hot oil over all the dry ingredients. This will cook the garlic and remove that spicy raw garlic flavor which will make the chili oil flavors meld a bit better.
- Try to use a heat-safe bowl when you are making this so that the bowl doesn't crack from the hot oil.
- If you are adding sesame oil to it, mix it in at the very end after you have poured the hot oil over the dry ingredients and everything has been mixed. We don't want to cook the sesame oil, since heating it up will remove some of the nutty flavors
- Try to store your chili oil in a glass jar so that the plastic doesn't leech into your chili oil
- If you refrigerate this chili oil, the oil will solidify. Before you use it, put it in a small bowl and let it sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes - the oil will become liquid-form and the chili oil will have a better flavor as well.
- In a small bowl, pre-mix 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce with 2 tablespoons miso paste until it thins out the miso into a thin paste1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons miso paste
- In another heat safe bowl, add in the dry ingredients (5 tablespoons sichuan chilli powder, ½ tablespoon sugar, and 2 tablespoons sesame seeds) and mix them together5 tablespoons sichuan chilli powder, ½ tablespoon sugar, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Add the thinned miso paste into the dry ingredients and mix it together until everything is combined
- Peel 7 cloves garlic, and grate it finely. If you don't have a grater you can finely chop or mince it. Add it to the very top of the chili mixture in a thin layer. Set this bowl aside for later.7 cloves garlic
- Peel 2 shallots, and finely chop it. Set this aside for later.2 shallots
Making the Garlic Chili Oil
- In a small pot, add in 1 cup neutral oil and chopped shallots. Set the stove to medium heat1 cup neutral oil
- Heat the oil up and cook the shallots until they become a golden brown color.
- At this point, the oil will be hot enough to make the chili oil. Carefully pour the oil over the ingredients in the bowl, focusing on pouring it over the raw garlic.
- Take a utensil and mix everything together well. Be careful the bowl may be very hot.
- (Optional) If you are adding 2 tablespoons sesame oil, mix it in now.2 tablespoons sesame oil
- Let it cool before transferring it to a glass jar. Store it in the fridge for up to 3 months or use it right away.
*Nutritional information is calculated using online tools and is an estimate*
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