Black Bean Chili Oil

How to make flavorful chili oil

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This garlic and black bean chili oil is a delicious, all-purpose condiment. Use it as a dipping sauce or whenever you want to add a bit of flavor to your meal.


Units Scale
  • 2 cups oil cooking oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced in half
  • 1 inch of ginger, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/2 cup fermented black beans
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup chili flakes
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce (or Braggs Liquid Aminos)


  1. Pour the cooking oil into a small pot. Set it on medium-low heat. Add the garlic, ginger, bay, peppercorns, and anise. Maintain the heat over medium-low. The goal is to infuse the aromatics into the oil but not fry the garlic and ginger. It should be warm enough that you can smell the spices, but turn down the heat if the garlic starts to sizzle. Maintain the temperature for 20 minutes. 
  2. Remove the spices and flavors from the oil. The easiest way to do this is to strain into a fresh pot. However, feel free to scoop them out with a slotted spoon.
  3. Return the oil to the heat. Add the black beans and turn up the heat slightly (to medium). The black beans will sizzle slightly to cook off the residual moisture. After 15 minutes, reduce the heat to low and allow the oil to cool for 5 minutes. Add chili flakes and roast for 10 minutes over low heat. The chili flakes should smell spicy but not burnt.
  4. Remove the oil from the heat. Add the sesame seeds, sugar, and soy sauce. Allow the oil to cool. It’s up to you whether you want to leave the oil chunky (with pieces of black beans, chili, and sesame seeds) or puree it to a smooth paste. It’s traditional to leave it chunky, but we like a smooth sauce.
  5. Store the oil in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 months.


  • Here’s a simplified recipe for fermented black beans.
  • Sichuan pepper can’t be replaced by regular black pepper. It isn’t the same flavor. Sichuan pepper is slightly citrus-flavored and has a neat property where it makes your tongue go slightly numb. If you can’t find it, simply skip it. 
  • I like 1/2 cup of chili flakes. My husband prefers 3/4 cup of chili flakes. Feel free to adjust to your taste.