As Nigella says “some like it hot, I like it hotter” and I pretty much love chilli everything!
We’re very lucky in Australia to have such a multi-cultural society. So many people from so many walks of life and places in the world who have brought their traditional food here. You can find pretty much any cuisine and you’ll find that it’s authentic, inspired and bloody tasty!
On that note, I absolutely love Asian food – so many fresh flavours, strong tastes, different textures and delightful aromas! Hot and spicy flavour profiles are pretty common and one of my favourite condiments is chilli oil! I have to admit that the thing I look forward to the most when I go out for Yum Cha is slathering everything with chilli oil – it’s hot, spicy, smokey and makes everything taste that bit more delicious.
The only crap thing about normal chilli oil it is that it is usually made with canola oil and peanuts, both inflammatory ingredients and thus not the best for you. So re-creating this deliciousness into a healthy version is what I just HAD to do! Not to mention I now have jars of the stuff which I can put on everything at home 😀 Go make this now so you can do the same! Chilli for daaayyysss!
Place the dried chillies and freshly peeled garlic cloves into your food processor, process until the chillies are broken up into little fine flakes (about 3 minutes). Use a spatula (not your fingers!) to scrape down the sides if needed.
Place the extra virgin olive oil and extra virgin coconut oil into a heavy based pot. You want the pot to be larger rather than smaller as the oil and chilli will bubble up. I used a 20 cm wide stainless steel pot. The coconut oil will impart a lovely flavour that goes along well with the chilli, and the olive oil keeps the cost of this recipe down (olive oil is a lot cheaper than coconut oil). You could use 100% of either oil but I prefer having a combination.
Heat the oil on medium-high until melted and hot. Add in the processed chilli and garlic and stir with a wooden spoon. As you add the chilli in the oil will froth up and start to change to a beautiful golden orange colour. The smell of the chilli and garlic as it toasts is amazing!
Immediately turn the heat down to medium and stir with a wooden spoon until the chilli starts to darken (about 3 minutes). Don’t let it darken too much as it will keep cooking in the oil when you take it off the heat. You want to avoid burnt chilli so be cautious.
Take the pot off the heat and place it aside to start to cool.
Place the roasted cashews into the food processor and process until fine. There is no need to wash the food processor in between the chilli mix and doing the cashews – that’s just extra washing and we ain’t got no time for that!
Add the cashews, fish sauce and salt to the chilli and mix evenly. Let the oil cool and then transfer to sterilised glass jars. This recipe makes a lot of chilli oil but it lasts for a very long time (6-12 months) so just place the jars in a cool, dark corner of your cupboard and you’re set for the year!
Leave the mix to infuse for at least a day (the longer you let it infuse, the more complex the flavours) and then add it on top of riced cauliflower, soups, meat, avocado slices, scrambled eggs, steamed veggies and anywhere you want a chilli hit!
The oil would also make a lovely gift to a fellow chilli enthusiast if you’re willing to part with some of it.
Paleo Crispy Chilli Oil
- Place dried chilli and garlic cloves into a food processor. Process until fine (about 3 minutes as the dried chillies are hard)
- Put the two cups of oil into a medium sized pot. Heat on medium-high until melted and hot. Add in the processed chilli and garlic. Note: the oil will froth up and bubble as you add the chilli in
- Immediately turn the heat down to medium and stir with a wooden spoon until the chilli starts to darken (about 3 minutes). Don’t let it darken too much as it will keep cooking in the oil when you take it off the heat
- Take the pot off the heat and place it aside to start to cool.
- Place the cashews into the food processor and process until fine
- Add cashews, fish sauce and salt to the chilli, mix evenly
- Let the oil cool and then transfer to sterilised glass jars
- Leave the mix to infuse for at least a day
- Add on top of riced cauliflower, soups, meat, avocado slices, scrambled eggs, steamed veggies and anywhere you want a chilli hit!
- Store in a cool, dark corner of your cupboard for 6-12 months