This recipe is my take on a Korean chili oil infused with Cantonese staple ingredients like ginger and scallion. My mother is from Korea and my father is from Hong Kong so growing up in a mixed household really influenced the marriage of these two cultures, especially through food. We go through chili oil quite fast in my home so I love matching a big batch of this in advance!
This chili oil is very easy and simple compared to many other chili oil recipes. In just 15 minutes, you can have a delicious chili oil ready in your pantry. The spice level is more on the milder side and the flavors will continue to develop the longer it sits.
In this recipe, you’ll notice that I separated the chili crisps from the chili oil. I needed pure chili oil for the sauce in my Crispy Shrimp Toast recipe however, you can actually keep the chili crisps and chili oil together if you want.
What is Korean Chili Oil?
Korean chili oil is my unique take on the classic Chinese chili oil that is used for various types of dishes. Many people use chili oil and chili crisps for dumplings and noodles, but there’s actually much more you can do with it.
Basically, chili crisp is a spicy oil-based condiment that is commonly used in Asian cuisine to add flavor, aroma, and heat. It is made by infusing oil with dried red chilis, ginger, shallots, garlic, and other aromatics. This fiery, spicy, and savory condiment has an addictive umami flavor and is full of texture.
There are a lot of versions of this recipe and they use different types of chilis and ratios of each ingredient. Some even use ingredients such as fried fermented soy beans, sesame seeds, star anise, and MSG to achieve their desired flavor. However, the recipe that I will share here is much simpler, yet delicious.
Also, you can use the crispy crunchy chili bits or just the chili oil, depending on how you like it.
How to Make Korean Chili Oil
I made this Korean chili oil recipe quick and easy to prepare, so even novice cooks can enjoy it. If you love this spicy condiment, why not try making your own at home instead of buying from commercial brands?
Simply follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Prepare the ingredients.
The very first step is to prepare the ingredients that you’re going to need. Slice the ginger into 5 to 6 pieces (about 1/4 inch thickness), chop the scallions into 2-inch pieces, and make sure to separate the white and green parts of the scallions.
Step 2: Fry the ingredients.
Take a pot and pour in a cup of oil. Heat it over medium to low heat.
When the oil is hot enough, you can add the ginger slices. To test if the oil is ready, take one slice of ginger and check to see if it sizzles. If it does, you can add all the other ginger slices. If not, you need to wait a little longer for the oil to heat up.
Once your ginger slices are in, fry them up for about a minute. You should smell a nice aroma by this time. Next, add the white part of the scallions and fry them for 2 minutes.
Lastly, add the green part of the scallions and then fry for another 5 to 7 minutes.
Step 3: Combine the oil with the gochugaru and salt.
In a heatproof bowl, combine the gochugaru and salt. Scoop out the ginger and scallions from the oil, and then place a strainer on top of the heatproof bowl with the red pepper flakes and salt. The strainer will help catch any loose bits from the oil.
Now, pour the hot oil through the strainer and into the bowl with gochugaru and salt. Be careful with this step because the oil is super hot. Mix thoroughly and then set aside to allow it to cool.
You can use these right away, or you can keep them in the fridge to allow the flavor to further develop. This Korean chili oil can last for up to 6 months when stored in the fridge.
Step 4: Separate the chili crisps from the chili oil (optional).
Using a cheesecloth or strainer on top of another bowl, separate the chili crisps from the chili oil.
Be careful when pouring the chili oil through the strainer or cheesecloth to avoid making a mess and wasting the fiery, aromatic goodness. When done, transfer the chili oil and chili crisps into separate jars or tight-lid glass containers.
Korean Chili Oil & Chili Crisp
- 1 cup neutral oil vegetable, canola
- 2 inch piece of ginger
- 4 scallions
- 1/2 cup gochugaru red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Slice the ginger into 5-6 pieces.
- Chop the scallions into 2 inch pieces. Keep the white and green parts separate.
- In a pot, heat the oil over medium-low heat. To test the oil for readiness – add one ginger slice. If it starts to sizzle, you can add all the ginger slices in. If it does not sizzle, wait for the oil to heat up a bit longer.
- Fry the ginger for about 1 minute.
- Add the white part of the scallion and fry for about 2 minutes.
- Place the green part of the scallion and fry for about 5-7 minutes.
- In a heatproof bowl, add the gochugaru and salt.
- Scoop out the ginger and scallions from the oil.
- Place a strainer on top of the bowl with gochugaru and salt to catch any loose bits from the oil.
- Carefully pour the oil through the strainer in to the bowl and mix well.
- Let cool completely.
- Place a cheese cloth or strainer on top of another bowl. Carefully pour the chili oil through the cheese cloth to separate the chili crisps with the chili oil.
- Transfer the chili crisps and chili oil into separate glass tight lid jars.
- Store in the fridge for up to 6 months.
- The chili crisps were separated from the chili oil however, you can keep them together if you like. I separated them for a recipe that only needed chili oil.
- This recipe is highly customizable and you can easily adjust the heat level by tweaking the amounts of ingredients that go into it. Feel free to make this recipe your own!