XFF Chili Oil Recipe

XFF Chili Oil Recipe
By The Cooking World, Editorial Staff
July 9, 2021

The Famous XFF Chili Oil Recipe

We love to have our pantry packed with flavor bombs that help us to add an explosion of flavors to our dishes. In this week's We Cook Book recipe, we decided to share with you the fantastic XFF chili oil from Xi'an Famous Foods Cookbook.

While most sauces like sriracha aim to get the bright, acidic bite of fresh peppers, this sauce goes for a deep, fiery, earthy heat of roasted chili peppers. Although this chili oil might look red and intimidating, it actually caps off quite early in terms of spice level, and instead focuses on the flavor and fragrances, of spices like star anise, cloves, and bay leaves.

We like to add this oil on eggs, congee, and any and all noodles. A drop or two will add a small but powerful kick; a splash will make your mouth water; a spoonful will make you sweat.

5 minutes
10 minutes
960 ml


445 g (2 cups) red chili powder
960 ml (4 cups) canola or soybean oil
(1 tablespoon) Sichuan peppercorns
4 star anise pods
4 cloves
5 bay leaves
1 green onion, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1/4 medium red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
5 cm (2.inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly sliced
Splash of black vinegar

Check out these products


  1. Place the red chili powder into a large, heat-safe pot or bowl big enough to pour the hot oil into later. Set aside on a stable surface.
  2. Add the oil to a second pot and set over medium heat. Heat until the thermometer registers 150 ºC (300 ºF).
  3. Add the Sichuan peppercorns, star anise, cloves, and bay leaves. Immediately after, carefully place the green onion, onion, and ginger into the hot oil as well. This will bring the temperature of the oil down; bring the temperature of the boil up to 180 ºC (350 ºF) and maintain it there by carefully moving the pot off the heat if too hot and putting back on the heat if too cool. Fry the spices at 180 ºC (350 ºF) in the oil for 3 minutes, until the spices are fragrant but not blackened. Use a strainer to remove everything solid from the oil (reserve these aromatics to enhance a broth or stew later).
  4. Heat the oil up to 232 ºC (450 ºF), then turn off the burner and carefully remove the pot from the heat.
  5. You might want to wear long sleeves for this next step. Very carefully, while wearing oven Motts, gradually pour the hot oil into the bigger pot with the red chili powder, stirring carefully to make sure every bit of the chili powder is cooked by the hot oil. This will create a lot of smoke, so if you can, do this step outdoors or be ready to deal with smoke alarms. Don't inhale the smoke.
  6. The temperature of the oil will drop quickly. Add a splash of black vinegar to add more flavor but also to bring down the temperature so the chili powder doesn't get burnt.
  7. Leave the oil to cool to room temperature, and let it rest, covered, for 10 to 12 hours or overnight. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.
Are You Ready To Get Hungry?

Sign Up today to get into our cooking world. You will receive for free our best tips, reviews, recipes and much more...

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Check our other recipes