"This is my version of Szechuan Chile oil (sometimes called mala hot sauce), which I have called 'everything oil' because, well, it makes everything taste better."

- Hetty McKinnon, To Asia, With Love


Hetty has never led us wrong before, so we made the oil and have now used it three times since! Mixed into mayonnaise on corn on the cob, as a marinade for grilled eggplant, and as a dumpling dipping sauce. It was a ton of fun to work with such unique ingredients... Korean Chile flakes (Gochugaru), Szechuan Peppercorns, Star Anise, and more. A serious flavor bomb...

Makes about 2 cups (500 ml)



  1. In a heatproof bowl, add the chile flakes, Szechuan peppercorns, gochugaru and sea salt.
  2. Place the oil, ginger, garlic, star anise and cinnamon in a small saucepan over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes - the oil is ready when it looks thin, like water.  Remove from the heat and very carefully pour the hot oil into the bowl with the spices - the oil will sizzle and spit, so stand back.  Allow to cool.

  1. Stir before serving.  I don't strain it as the chile and spices continue to flavor the oil over time. Everything oil can be drizzled over noodles, dumplings, soups and salads.  Store in a sterilized jar (no need to refrigerate) for up to 3 months.


Recipe from To Asia, With Love by Hetty McKinnon


July 05, 2021

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