I’ve got a special guest post for you today! From none other than my honey bunches. He’s a spicy food FIEND and is here to share some of his spicy wisdom. I’ll let him take it away!
Almost two years ago, I brought you a recipe for hot chili oil. That stove-top recipe, which I still use, takes about 15 minutes and makes a pretty large quantity of oil. But sometimes you’re in a pinch and just need some chili oil right away. As in, you’re preheating the pan for your stir fry and realize you don’t have any chili oil to sauté your vegetables in! (Surely this happens to everybody???) Well, ladies and gents, I have a fix for that: Two-Minute Chili Oil! Yes, this is not exactly rocket science, but it makes a fantastic chili oil to use in a pinch. I have used this recipe countless times to make a small quantity of super spicy chili oil almost immediately.
1 tablespoon dried thai chili pods, crushed or broken (approximately 8 pods)
Pour oil into a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup tempered to withstand extremely high heat (i.e. Pyrex).
Break, crush, or chop dried chili pods into small pieces, exposing inner membrane and seeds.
Add broken chili pods to the oil and stir briefly so that the pods are not all floating on top of the oil but spread throughout.
Microwave oil and chili pod mixture on power level 7 (or 70%) for 90 seconds.***
CAREFULLY remove HOT oil from microwave using a potholder and put in a safe place (i.e. away from children and pets). CAUTION: Bowl or measuring cup will be HOT!
Allow mixture to cool, leaving the chili pods in the oil and stirring occasionally.
Of course, you can alter the ratio of oil to chilis to suit your spice level. I like mine very potent and spicy. For a milder oil, use half a tablespoon of crushed pods. For an even spicier oil, use an extra half a tablespoon of chilis.
Tips and Warnings:
*** Some people advise against microwaving oil, as it can reach extremely high temperatures (over 300 degrees) in a very short amount of time. Please be safe when attempting this recipe! I always keep an eye on the oil when it’s in the microwave, and I never microwave more than 1/4 cup at a time. As noted above, please only use a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup tempered to withstand extremely high heat (i.e. Pyrex). Do not use anything that might melt or shatter! ***
I typically use a 1-cup Pyrex measuring cup, which gives you plenty of room to spare for stirring and also gives you a nice handle to grip onto with a potholder (note: even the handle will get extremely hot in the microwave). You don’t want to use something too shallow, as the oil will be scalding hot and you don’t want to burn your fingers when removing it from the microwave.
You can break the chili pods in a variety of ways: break them up with your hands (caution: use gloves if you choose this method), chop them in a mini chopper/food processor of some sort, slice them with a paring knife, or even crush them with a mortar and pestle if they are brittle enough. The goal is simply to break them up enough that the inner membrane containing the seeds is exposed to the oil during the heating and infusion process. This will allow the oil to take on the full flavor and spice of the chilis.
You can use the oil as a topping or to sautee ingredients for other recipes. You can also strain out the chili pods and seeds if you wish. I leave mine in because I like to eat the pods. Store in a cool dry place for up to a week, or in the refrigerator for up to a month.
I hope you find this recipe as useful and delicious as I have! Thanks for reading.