Recipe: Weissman’s hot oil (My variation)

This is my favorite thing that I made this year and it is a variation of Joshua Weissman‘s original oil recipe. You may think that’s cheating but my variation changes the recipe ever slightly to fit my flavor profile. I will not write the procedure for you as Weissman already made a great video of the recipe but I did a transcript of the MODIFIED recipe.

Give the man some love and watch him:

Chef Joshua Weissman’s “How To Make Proper Chili Oil (Chinese Style)” video released in June 2, 2019.


  • 2 Tbsp. Coriander seeds
  • 1 stick of Cinnamon
  • 6 star anise
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 clove garlic, bruise with skin on
  • 1/2 cup dried New Mexican ghost pepper
  • 1 Tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. of white vinegar
  • 1 quart neutral oil

Variation notes

  • I decided to omit the Szechuan peppercorns from Weissman’s recipe because I didn’t have it at the time I made my version. Weissman’s recipe called for 1/3 cup of Szechuan peppercorns, feel free to add it if you like but it will not be the same.
Dried New Mexican ghost peppers (left)
  • I used a special type of chili that my old friend and former neighbor Clay gave me on my short trip to New Mexico. I believe these are Ghost pepper that he grew and harvested. I tell you what, Clay has been working with chili ever since I knew him and that was about ten years ago. These things pack some serious flavor and heat, but mostly heat. These things are diabolical when it comes to spice, beware.
  • Since these are made with really spicy peppers, I suggest using dried habanero as a substitute. Habanero should be plenty spicy to recreate this dish and if you can get it from New Mexico, extra points.
  • The whole garlic clove is a personal preference but one that is necessary. This will add a strong garlic flavor to the oil to cut through the spice. Weissman said to discard the garlic but you can save it and make garlic jam or something. I enjoy garlic very much and I prefer it not to go to waste. Also, leave a piece of garlic peel in the oil to indicate that it “sho is gah-licky”
  • Although Weissman suggested that this oil goes with anything, I wouldn’t just toss it with everything. This condiment supplements Asiatic flavors into a dish. I suggest using small amounts since this thing can blow your head off. I mixed this with barbecue sauce, shredded pineapples, and a tiny bit of hoisin to make a baste for ribs. We’ve all heard of dim sum with hot oil but have you tried it with corned beef hash over rice? Insane.
  • I wouldn’t suggest adding any oil that has its own flavor like sesame, olive, or grapeseed. Trust me, I tried. Just like what Weissman said, they spoil faster than neutral oils and they ruin the taste of the spice. It is a waste of ingredients, unless you really like the flavor then go ahead. It tastes okay but again, it spoils fast.
  • My variation have a dark red hue when I poured the hot oil in. I was alarmed at first because I thought the chili burned but it was just the nature of the process. 

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