I could eat noodles (and pasta) every single day. These Chili Oil Garlic Noodles are very high on my list of favorite noodles to make. They’re simple to make, so tasty and there are so many ways to make them! This recipe is a Korean-style Chili Oil Garlic Noodle dish.
Korean Style Garlic Chili Oil versus Traditional Szechuan Garlic Chili Oil
This recipe is all about the garlic chili oil. This Korean style chili oil version is different in both ingredients and process compared to the more traditional Szechuan version, but the bright and bold flavors are still very much there.
What is Chili Oil?
Traditional Szechuan garlic chili oil begins with a variety of spices such as Szechuan peppercorns (which aren’t peppercorns at all, but dried berries from the deciduous prickly ash tree within the citrus family that carry both floral and citrus notes), Chinese cinnamon bark (similar in taste to a ‘red hot’ candy), star anise, bay leaves, cloves, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, garlic, ginger, and green onions. The ingredients are simmered and steeped together with a neutral oil such as vegetable or grape seed and then strained. The strained oil is then brought up to a boil and poured over an Asian style chili powder and that mixture is tossed together with noodles.
This Korean style garlic chili oil is different from the Szechuan version and much more simple with way fewer ingredients, but I wanted to mention the above because it’s a version people are more familiar with.
Vegetable oil or sesame oil or both!
Both vegetable and sesame oil are used in this version to bring out a a deep, nutty flavor with some balance. Korean style chili powder, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame seeds are other ingredients that are used. The oil is still heated and poured over the chili powder, garlic and ginger, but the remaining chili oil ingredients are simply stirred into the mixture. The noodles and a portion of the chili garlic oil are then tossed together and topped with more oil. The dish is then finished with crushed peanuts, for a nutty flavor and crunchy texture. So simple, but so good.
Can you make Garlic Chili Oil Ahead?
The garlic chili oil can be made up to 2 weeks ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. The oil (or really sauce) is very diverse and can be used to top steamed or pan fried dumplings as well as drizzled atop broth-based noodle soups.
Leave a comment below if you guys make a version of garlic chili oil both different from the traditional Szechuan version or this Korean version. There are so many different ways to make this from so many different cultures! If you want to stay away from chiles, try our other recipe for savory Garlic Noodles.
Enjoy! xx, Jenny
Hungry for more?
Chile Oil Garlic Noodles
Garlic Chili Oil
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2½ tbsp Korean Chili Powder (gochugaru)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp ginger, minced
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced optional
- 12 oz wide flat rice noodles
- 3 tbsp crushed peanuts
- In a small saucepan simmer vegetable oil for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour hot oil over chili powder, garlic and ginger and stir together. Once oil has cooled, stir in remaining chili oil ingredients. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, 4 to 5 minutes. Place dry noodles into a shallow dish. Pour boiling water over noodles and allow noodles to soften completely, about 10 minutes.
- Drain and pour noodles into a large bowl. Top with 3/4 of garlic chili oil toss together until completely coated.
- Transfer coated noodles to a platter and top with remaining oil. Top with crushed peanuts and serve.