Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes (to toast ingredients)
Keywords: saute sauce salad gluten-free nut-free soy-free sugar-free vegetarian Chinese
Ingredients (Makes 1/4 cup chili oil)
- 1 dried California chile
- 2 teaspoons Sichuan pepper (berries)
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml extra-virgin olive oil OR 2 tablespoons / 30 ml extra-virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons / 30 ml avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons / 30 ml rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons / 30 ml tamari
- 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
Remove stem and seeds from the chile and break it into pieces. Pick out any stems from the Sichuan pepper.
Toast both in a dry skillet until fragrant (shake the skillet often ensure nothing burns).
Place the chile and pepper in a mortar and grind until the chile is broken into tiny pieces and the pepper is reduced to a powder. Transfer to a small bowl.
Pour oil(s) in a small saucepan and heat until it reaches about 230 F / 110 C. Immediately pour the hot oil over the chile and pepper mixture: it will should sizzle. Let it cool for 5 minutes then add to it the sesame seeds, stir and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the vinegars, tamari, molasses and stir well. Set aside until ready to use.
Stir both components of the dressing before using and add each to taste, tossing to coat vegetables. Start with a small amount and add to taste, as the flavors involved are quite pronounced. I have dressed butter lettuce and roasted asparagus with it and liked the result a lot. In both cases, optionally sprinkle more sesame seed on top of the vegetables.
Store chili oil and vinegar/tamari (in small glass jars) in the refrigerator until needed. Take them out of the refrigerator to bring them back to room temperature before using.