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Chilli, Ginger and Spring Onion Oil

A warming oil perfect for dipping, swirling and adding flavoursome punch to a variety of dishes

I’ve always had a weakness for the sauces aisle in the supermarket. My fridge and cupboards attest to that, as they currently harbour no less than five chilli sauces and three kinds of mustard. I swear need them all!

I wouldn’t say that I seek out sauces but rather allow myself to be tempted by interesting/exotic/curious ingredients or flavour combinations. Like the peanut butter caramel I picked up at a food festival, or the ancho chilli relish with the cool label. The problem is that I subconsciously endow these items with a special status, and having done so try to use them so sparingly that they end up past the use by date when they’re still three-quarters full.

When temptation hasn’t had a hand to play, then I find myself most drawn to sauces that have the potential to be multi-purpose. Something that can be a dip, as a well a flavour base for a stew, and then still work equally well smeared on crusty toast. Something that is always used up.

Today’s recipe is exactly one of these sauces. The name sounds like an infused oil but the actual thing is an intoxicating dance of juicy ginger dices, finely sliced spring onions and delicate yet fiery chilli flakes. All the tasty morsels sliding around in an oil that first hit the aromatics when it was smoking hot, so as to draw out as much flavour from them as possible.

With the ‘chunky bits to oil’ ratio firmly in favour of the chunky bits, the sauce will always have a noticeable presence. Whether its used as a dumpling dip, or perhaps for spiking a brothy noodle soup. You could also also try mixing it into congee, or coating pasta spirals with it, or spreading it inside a generously buttered chicken sandwich. See, multi purpose, and hopefully for you, a keeper.

Serves
Ingredients

8 tbsp vegetable oil
4 spring onions, sliced
25g or 8 tbsp ginger, finely diced or grated
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
1/4 tsp salt
big pinch of sugar

I’ve always had a weakness for the sauces aisle in the supermarket. My fridge and cupboards attest to that, as they currently harbour no less than five chilli sauces and three kinds of mustard. I swear need them all!

I wouldn’t say that I seek out sauces but rather allow myself to be tempted by interesting/exotic/curious ingredients or flavour combinations. Like the peanut butter caramel I picked up at a food festival, or the ancho chilli relish with the cool label. The problem is that I subconsciously endow these items with a special status, and having done so try to use them so sparingly that they end up past the use by date when they’re still three-quarters full.

When temptation hasn’t had a hand to play, then I find myself most drawn to sauces that have the potential to be multi-purpose. Something that can be a dip, as a well a flavour base for a stew, and then still work equally well smeared on crusty toast. Something that is always used up.

Today’s recipe is exactly one of these sauces. The name sounds like an infused oil but the actual thing is an intoxicating dance of juicy ginger dices, finely sliced spring onions and delicate yet fiery chilli flakes. All the tasty morsels sliding around in an oil that first hit the aromatics when it was smoking hot, so as to draw out as much flavour from them as possible.

With the ‘chunky bits to oil’ ratio firmly in favour of the chunky bits, the sauce will always have a noticeable presence. Whether its used as a dumpling dip, or perhaps for spiking a brothy noodle soup. You could also also try mixing it into congee, or coating pasta spirals with it, or spreading it inside a generously buttered chicken sandwich. See, multi purpose, and hopefully for you, a keeper.

GET THE METHOD →

Put all the ingredients except the oil into a bowl.
Keeping a close eye on it the whole time, heat the oil in a small saucepan until it is smoking hot; you should see shimmering waves of smoke coming off the surface.
Carefully pour the oil onto the bowl. Stir to mix, then transfer to a jar for storage.
OUR
TIP!
The oil keeps well in the fridge for two weeks - just stick it an old jam jar.
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