Chinese New Year Potluck, Tiger Beer and Szechuan Chile Oil

As I mentioned in my Chinese New Year post last year, it is one of the most celebrated and important holidays in the Chinese culture.  It is a tradition to gather on New Year's Eve with your family to have a reunion dinner.  This year my parents were in town, and we gathered at my uncle's house for an incredible feast.

Speaking of Chinese New Year feast, Jackie and Ken hosted their first annual Chinese New Year Potluck for food bloggers and food enthusiasts last year.  I was happy to be a part of the celebration.  This year's potluck was held a few weeks ago.  It was sponsored by Tiger Beer, and there were around 70 people attended the potluck.  Everyone brought an Asian dish and their appetite.  I was so excited to see all the wonderful dishes that gathered at the potluck.

When I attend these potlucks, I never know in advance what to bring since there are so many options, and sometimes having too many ideas make it difficult to decide which dish to make.  So I was pleased when my inspiration came while Jackie, Ken and I were having dinner at a Chinese restaurant weeks prior to the potluck.  We ordered Wontons in Szechuan Chile Oil, and I mentioned maybe that is something I could bring to the potluck.  Of course Jackie was very excited by the idea as she is a fan of Wontons with Szechuan Chile Oil.  Even though I have never made my own chile oil, I always wanted to experiment especially when I am a lover of hot sauce.

With that in mind, I used some Szechuan peppercorn and dried tepin chile peppers to make my own oil.  I think most people are familiar with the Szechuan peppercorn.  It is a spice that has a slight lemony flavor, and gives a tingly numbness that works well with chile peppers.  As to the tepin chile, I learned about this chile when I received some samples from Marx Food for a chile contest.  I immediately love the heat level.  Even though it's considered as one of the hottest chiles due to its intense heat, but the spiciness is short lived and dissipates quickly.  I highly encourage any chile enthusiast to try this chile as it is probably one of my favorites.

Szechuan Chile Oil Yield about 1/2 cup
24 Dried tepin chile peppers
2 tsp Sichuan peppercorn
1/2 cup of canola oil
1/4 tsp of paprika
Salt to taste

In a spice grinder, grind the tepin chiles and peppercorn.  Put the mixture in a small bowl, add the paprika and set aside.  Heat the oil to 225 degrees in a small pan (do not over heat the oil to avoid burning the peppers) then carefully pour it to the chile flakes and let it seep for at least a few hours.  Strain the pepper flakes, and finally adjust seasoning with salt.  It is a really simple process.  I hope to try different flavor combinations, and make more chile oil in the future.

As you see below are just some of the delicious dishes at the potluck that we enjoyed with Tiger Beer.  Thank you Tiger Beer for sponsoring and providing the beer to be consumed with the delicious food.  It was a great time to had by all.  Thank you Jackie and Ken for another successful event. 

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know you could make your own chile oil. What a great recipe and creative idea! Thanks for sharing. You have a great blog and I'm glad to have found you!


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