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garlic chili oil in glass jar with cinnamon stick and star anise

Garlic Chili Oil

  • Author: Mansee Muzumdar
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: ~1 cup
  • Category: Sauces
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian


A staple in my kitchen, this spicy, garlic oil is a cross between chili oil and chili crisp with toasted spices, garlic-infused oil and crispy shallots. Keep this garlic chili oil on hand to drizzle over dumplings, eggs, pizza or anything else that needs a delicious spicy kick!


  • 2 tablespoons sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 10 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 1/4 cups neutral oil (vegetable, avocado, peanut, etc.)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup gochugaru (Korean red chili flakes - see notes for substitute)
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. Add 2 tablespoons sichuan peppercorns, 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, 3 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 10 green cardamom pods and 6 smashed garlic cloves in a medium heavy-bottom pot. Turn heat to medium and let spices and garlic toast for 2-3 minutes, until garlic starts to develop some brown spots and the pan is very fragrant and starts to smoke just a little bit.
  2. Turn heat off and remove pan for 5 minutes to let things cool down (so you don't end up with a smoke show!). Return pan to stove and add 1 1/4 cups neutral oil. Turn heat to medium-low. 
  3. Once oil starts to gently bubble, reduce heat to low and let oil simmer for at least 10 minutes. I like to let it go for 30 to really infuse the flavor of the garlic and spices, but 10 minutes definitely works!
  4. After oil is infused, remove spices and garlic. You can do this with a slotted spoon or strain the oil into a measuring cup and then return back to pan. 
  5. Add 1 large minced shallot and let fry, over low heat, for 15-20 minutes, until it is light brown in color. The shallots will continue to cook as the chili oil cools so don't let it get to dark at this stage.
  6. While shallots are frying, add 1/2 cup gochugaru and 2 teaspoons salt to a large heat-proof jar or bowl. I like to use a 2-cup measuring glass to make it easier to transfer later. 
  7. Once shallots are lightly browned, turn off heat and carefully pour oil and shallots over chili powder. Stir a few times to combine. If desired, add a few of the larger toasted spices (like the cinnamon stick and star anise) to the oil to keep infusing the oil as it sits.
  8. Let garlic chilli oil cool completely before covering. I keep this out on my counter for 1-2 weeks, but you can also store in the fridge for up to a month.


  • Gochugaru can be found at Asian grocery stores or online. If you can't get your hands on it, you can use 1/2 cup red pepper flakes + 1 tablespoon chili powder. The flavor will be slightly different, but you'll still get the nice red color. If you want things even spicier, use cayenne powder instead of chili powder!
  • I choose to infuse the garlic with oil and then take it out so I can leave the oil out of the fridge and avoid any concerns of botulism. If you want to keep the garlic in here, you can mince it up and fry with the shallots. Store this, tightly covered, in the fridge and use up within a week.
  • I think neutral oil is the best for this so the garlic and spices really shine, but if you don't mind the extra flavor you can use olive oil. I'd still avoid an extra-virgin olive oil and go for something lighter (less expensive too!).