You can use this garlic chili oil for anything and everything — think dipping sauces, over noodles, stir-fries, tofu dishes, salads, and more!


  • garlic
  • fresh chillies
  • Chinese 5 spice powder 
  • Korean chili powder
  • Sugar

For the Oil

  • dried bay leaf
  • dried star anise
  • 7-8 whole cloves (the spice)
  • salt
  • neutral oil


  • For the chiles and garlic, you can mince or crush these. I roughly cut mine up using a pair of scissors and pounded these using a mortar and pestle. You can add yours to a food processor and process until minced.
  • Add the minced/processed garlic and chiles in a heat proof bowl or jar. Add in the 5 spice powder (if using), other chili powder.
  • Spices and oil: Over medium heat, add the spices and salt in a small sauce pan. Add in the neutral oil. Leave over medium heat for the oil to heat up.
  • Once small bubbles start to appear and you see the spices start to sizzle in the oil, you can lower the heat to low and keep it at a constant temperature to be sure the spices don’t burn.
  • Leave for around 15-20 minutes to allow the spices to slowly infuse the flavours in the oil. You can infuse the spices longer (up to 1 hour) for optimal flavour. Ensure that the salt dissolves in the oil.
  • After the spices infuse in the oil, increase the heat back to medium or medium high for 1-2 minutes. The oil should be very hot at this point. To test out the heat, you can add a small piece of garlic or chili and it should immediately sizzle in the oil when added.
  • You can remove the spices in the oil or prepare a sieve over your bowl/bottle. Turn off the heat and remove the pan.
  • Immediately pour the hot oil over the chiles, garlic, and seasoning. Enjoy the sizzle! Taste your chili oil and feel free to season with more salt, if desired. Mix well and allow to cool completely before covering the jar.


  • To store, you can refrigerate it to prolong shelf life and just scoop some out at room temperature since the oils can solidify. This is best enjoyed within a month.
  • I go through this so fast though so it never really lasts that long. Be sure that all the chiles and garlic pieces are submerged in the oil. Also ensure that the jar is sealed tight.