I have to admit that I hate shopping in Chinese supermarkets for prepackaged foods, because most things simply don’t have ingredient lists in English, and I like to know what I’m eating!
So, to solve this problem, at least for chili sauce, I decided to make my own. This is actually also the same method for making Chinese chili oil at home (you simply skip the food processing step and then remove all the chilis and peppercorns at the end).
Why Chinese Chili Sauce? When you mix this chili sauce with some coconut aminos, you get a fantastic dipping sauce for a variety of meats and vegetables! This sauce is also great for spicing up any stir-fry any time.
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You start with a pack of dried red chilis, like this 3.5 oz pack.
And also a small amount of Szechuan peppercorns (which you can get here).
Place the chilis and the peppercorns into a food processor (you can also use a blender, but your blended smoothies might be a bit spicy for a few days afterwards).
Food process the chilis and the peppercorns until they’re bitsy. You can process it finer to create more of a chili paste if your food processor is good enough (this is the food processor I’ve been eyeing).
Scoop out around 7-8oz (approx. 1 cup) of coconut oil into a large pan on a medium heat and add in the food processed chilis/peppercorns.
Watch for the oil to start bubbling and then cook for an extra 3-5 minutes until the chili pepper pieces start turning a bit darker (don’t let them turn too dark or they’ll burn!). Then simply store in a container and use when you want to spice up your cooking.