Chilli Oil

2. chilli oil

Chilli Oil

This oil has a million uses. It’s lovely with pretty much everything and anything from the BBQ and makes an instant sauce for meat and fish. It’s great to have around if you are living with someone like my Irishman who loves chilli with every meal.

takes: 20 minutes
makes: 2 cups

200g (7 oz) long red chillies
3 cloves garlic
2 cups extra virgin olive oil

1. Remove stems and roughly chop chillies. Peel and smash garlic.

2. Place chilli, garlic and oil in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat.

3. Simmer for 5-10 minutes or until garlic is golden brown. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.

4. Remove half the oil and puree the chilli and garlic with a stick blender or food processor. Return solids to the oil and store in an airtight container.


short on time – make a fresh chilli oil by slicing some red chilli and cover with extra virgin olive oil. Stand for at least 5 minutes and then it’s good to go. If you can let it marinate for longer you’ll be rewarded with more chilli flavour.

garlic-free – sometimes I just skip the garlic.

budget – replace some, half or all the olive oil with a cheaper oil such as vegetable, rice bran, or peanut oil.

milder – deseed the chillies before adding to the pan.

– toss in a handful or small red birds eye or other super hot chillies.

smooth – allow the oil to cool completely with the chilli and garlic then strain and discard the solids.

Usage Suggestions

– drizzle the cooled oil and solids over everything from grilled halloumi, to BBQ vegetables to roast chicken. Pretty much anything that will benefit from some chilli warmth.

chilli oil eggs – use the oil to fry eggs and serve with some of the chilli solids spooned over the top.

dressings – make a warming salad dressing with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 3-4 tablespoons chilli oil. Season well and toss through salad leaves or boiled spuds or both.

sauce for fish or chicken – stir some lemon zest through a little chilli oil and use as a sauce for steamed, grilled or pan fried fish or pan fried chicken.

Prepare Ahead?

Absolutely. Takes about 20 minutes. One of those things that tastes better with a bit of age!

Storage Best Practices

Store in a glass jar in the fridge. Better to use a wider necked jar rather than a bottle so you can spoon out the lovely solids. Will keep in the fridge for 4 weeks or so. Can be frozen for up to 12 months.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

chilli – freeze whole or sliced in a ziplock bag.

oil, garlic – pantry.

Problem Solving Guide

too hot – dilute with more olive oil.

don’t have a food processor? – finely chop the cooled chilli and garlic by hand and add back to the oil.

Packaging Suggestions

Best in a glass jar so you can scoop out the lovely chilli and garlic solids to sprinkle over your food.

Ingredients List

olive oil, chilli, garlic, salt.


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  • Don’t use dried chilli peppers! I thought I would try this recipe by using dried chillis I already had in in the pantry. Big mistake! It tasted like spicy paper flavored oil. I look forward to trying it again with fresh chillis.

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