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Export 12 ingredients for grocery delivery
In a heat-safe bowl, combine star anise, bay leaf, cassia bark (or cinnamon stick), white sesame seeds, red chili flakes, five-spice, ground Sichuan pepper, salt, msg (if adding), and Chinese black vinegar.
Heat vegetable oil on medium heat along with the whole peeled ginger as well as crushed garlic, left in their pods. When the ginger and the garlic both turn golden-brown, fish them out of the oil and immediately pour oil into the prepared heat-safe bowl. Note: The oil should not be too hot, otherwise you will end up with burnt chili flakes. Shoot for 200-250 F. Be careful as the oil will sizzle as soon as it hits the spices.
Let the chili oil cool completely before transferring into a mason jar, or other air-tight glass container. Store in refrigerator.