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5-Minute Thai Chili Oil Recipe

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This Thai chili oil recipe is crafted with only 5 ingredients and ready in just 5 minutes. With a drizzle of this spicy condiment, you can add a touch of heat to your favorite food, quick and easy.

Thai chili oil in a large black spoon on a wooden background. In the distance is a mason jar with more of the spicy condiment in it.

Looking for more Thai table condiments? Here are my favorites: Thai chili flakes, crispy fried garlic, and Thai chili paste.

What is Thai chili oil (nam mun prik)

Recently I was in the middle of cooking dinner – a combination of sun-dried beef and pork, with a pot of steaming white rice. But suddenly I craved something spicy, and that’s when I thought to myself, “This is the perfect moment to whip up some nam mun prik or homemade Thai chili oil”.

Before I knew it, I was drizzling my rice and meat with this spicy oil, adding extra flavor and heat to each bite.

And that’s exactly what this staple in Thai cuisine is used for; adding a spicy kick to various dishes. Simply drizzle it over your food for extra spice.

Thai chili oil in a glass cup on a black background. A wooden spoon hovers over it, with oil leaking from it. There's also dried chilies and fried shallots.

It tastes great with almost any dish: Thai noodles, Thai stir-fry, Thai dipping sauces, pasta, vegetables, noodle soups, rice, and more.

Making this spicy chili oil with simple ingredients is easy. Just grab a small saucepan or a wok, and add neutral oil. Toss in garlic, shallots, red chili flakes, and a touch of golden mountain sauce.

Afterward, just transfer it into an airtight container or a mason jar, and you’re good to go.

Thai vs Chinese chili oil

One of the important differences between my Thai-inspired chili oil and the traditional Chinese one is the ingredients.

Large black spoon containing oil with red chili flakes. In the distance is a black dish with stir-fried noodles and vegetables.

My recipe is made with simple ingredients, infusing the oil with subtle, bold Thai flavors.

The traditional Chinese recipe calls for many spices, including star anise, Chinese five spice, cinnamon stick, sesame seeds, bay leaves, ginger, soy sauce, and more.

When I make Thai chili oil from scratch, I like to keep things simple, simple but delicious.

Type of chili peppers

Chili peppers are the key component, infusing the oil with fiery goodness.

Your choice of chili peppers makes all the difference, since the flavor of your Thai chili oil depends on the specific chilies you choose.

Chili oil its origins bring us back to Chinese cuisine, where Sichuan peppers are an important ingredient. Sichuan peppers bring heat without overwhelming spiciness.

Spicy Thai chili condiment in a black spoon on a white background.

But, we’re putting a Thai twist on the Chinese condiment, so we’re choosing Thai dried Jinda chilies instead. They bring more heat, extra flavor, and fresh aroma to the oil. You should be able to find them at Asian grocery stores or Asian markets, if not, you can simply use a different type of dried chili flakes.

Beware, as Thai chili peppers are often extra spicy.

Type of oil

The choice of oil is another important factor.

A neutral oil with high smoke point, to cook at high temperature, is essential for creating a good Thai chili oil.

Neutral oils like peanut oil, vegetable oil, avocado oil, canola oil, corn oil, or sunflower oil are all great choices. I recommend against using coconut oil, grapeseed oil, walnut oil, olive oil, sesame oil, or other types with strong flavors.

Red chili flakes

To make your Thai chili condiment, you’ll first need to crush dried chilies into chili flakes. Don’t worry, this is an easy process.

You can choose to use the traditional Thai technique; crushing dried chilies into flakes by using a mortar and pestle, or you can use a food processor to make dried chili flakes without effort.

  1. Begin by roasting dried chili peppers. Simply add them to a cooking pan without oil, and roast to perfection.
  2. Then, allow the peppers to cool down to room temperature.
  3. Transform the roasted chilies into flakes.

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Ingredients for Thai chili oil on a black background in glass cups: garlic, shallots, golden mountain sauce, dried chili flakes, and cooking oil.
  • Oil – Use a neutral oil with high smoke point, such as vegetable oil or corn oil.
  • Garlic – Frying garlic in this Thai chili condiment gives it a garlicky fragrance and taste.
  • Shallots Shallots are a traditional ingredient, but can be substituted with red onions.
  • Thai chili flakes – Adjust the quantity of chili flakes to your personal spice preference.
  • Golden mountain sauce – This is a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine, adding an umami flavor.

How to make Thai chili oil

Step 1: Chop garlic and quarter the shallots.

Pan filled with oil, and fried garlic and shallots.

Step 2: In a small saucepan or wok, heat neutral oil over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots, frying until they turn golden brown. You have the option to either keep them in the condiment or remove them.

Step 3: Turn off the heat and add dried chili flakes and golden mountain sauce, gently stir to blend the flavors. Let the oil cool down before transferring it to a jar.

How to serve

This spicy Thai oil can be drizzled over your favorite dishes to add a spicy flavor. Noodles, stir-fries, rice, meat dishes, with this oil you can level up just about anything.

How to store

Allow the oil to cool down in your pan. Then, transfer it into an airtight container / glass jar / mason jar.

Store away from sunlight in a cool place. To extend the shelf life, store in your fridge. You can keep it for several weeks.

Fun facts

  • Cooking oil with chili flakes is often found in Chinese restaurants as a condiment, but not so much in Thai restaurants.
  • Chili oil is commonly linked with Asian cuisine, but today it’s popular around the world. One example is Italian cuisine – I still have memories of drizzling my pizzas with an oil that was just mildly spicy.

Frequently asked questions

What is chili oil?

Chili oil is a spicy condiment made by infusing oil with dried chili flakes. In some variations of chili oil, spices are added for extra flavor. You can use it to add a spicy kick to various dishes such as noodles, stir-fries, and pasta.

Is this recipe spicy?

The outcome of this recipe is a spicy condiment. To make it less spicy, you can use a low amount of red chili flakes, or use a mild type of chili pepper. Alternatively, you can remove the seeds before crushing the dried chilies for less heat.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

Yes, all ingredients are gluten-free. However, it’s important to double-check the labeling of your golden mountain sauce.

Related Thai condiments

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5-Minute Thai Chili Oil Recipe

Thai chili oil in a black spoon with an airtight container with more chili in it behind the spoon.
You can use Thai chili oil to spice up various dishes, like stir-fries, noodles, sauces, and pasta.
Praew
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Ingredients
Serving Size 30 servings

Ingredients

  • 1.25 cup oil
  • 1 shallot cut into 4 pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 0.7 ounces red chili flakes
  • 1.5 tablespoon golden mountain sauce

Instructions

  • Chop garlic and quarter the shallots.
  • In a small saucepan or wok, heat neutral oil over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots, frying until they turn golden brown. You have the option to either keep them in the condiment or remove them.
  • Turn off the heat and add dried chili flakes and golden mountain sauce, gently stir to blend the flavors. Let the oil cool down before transferring it to a jar.

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Store in a mason jar / glass container. Store away from sunlight in a cool place. To extend the shelf life, store in your fridge. You can keep it for several weeks.

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