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#42 A chili oil hack
If you find that your jar of chili oil is hotter than what your mouth can handle, here's a trick.
My daughter’s friend gifted her with a jar of Nepalese chili oil with a warning that it was hotter than hot. She thought that, perhaps, we’d know better ways to use it.
We peeled off the seal, tasted a pinch and… okay, there was no way we could use it as table condiment. It was so hot that my daughter gulped down a glass of milk to wash away the heat. I said I’d fix it.
I dumped the contents of the jar into a pot. I filled the jar with extra virgin coconut oil, poured it in, refilled the jar with oil, and poured it in again.
I stirred everything together and waited just until the oil was bubbly. I turned off the heat and let the mixture cool overnight.
The following day, I used two tablespoons of the oil in the dish and the heat was still overwhelming. So I repeated the process. I added two more jars of oil, waited until the mixture was bubbly, cooled the now very diluted chili oil and tried it again. That did the trick.
So, we now have five jars of chili oil. We’re paying it forward by giving away three jars of the stuff. The remaining two jars will go a long, long way for our home consumption.
Here are a few dishes with chili oil. Some of them were cooked with out homemade Sichuan chili oil; others with chili oil from the grocery. The first in the list though was cooked with the diluted Nepalese chili oil.
Sticky rice with pork, sausage and mushrooms - It's machang (the Filipino adaptation of the Chinese lo mai gai or zongzi) but without the leaf wrapper. Delicious and filling, make it in bulk for a party. See the recipe.
Wontons in Sichuan chili oil - Missing dining in Hong Kong terribly, we made a home version of Din Tai Fung’s spicy wontons. You can too with this easy-to-follow recipe which includes how to make Sichuan chili oil. See the recipe.
Green beans and mushrooms with chili ginger vinaigrette - How do you cook a delicious vegetable side dish in five minutes? You use the microwave oven. Not a fan of nuking your food? The steamer is your friend. See the recipe.
Poached chicken with ginger scallion sauce - Skin-on chicken thigh fillets are poached with ginger and scallions, cut into strips, arranged in a bowl, drizzled with Sichuan chili oil, and topped with ginger scallion sauce that is traditionally served as a dipping sauce for Hainanese chicken. See the recipe.