chile oil

Chile oil made with fermented black beans. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times / February 1, 2012)

Total time: 25 minutes, plus cooling time

Servings: This makes about 1½ cups chile oil

Note: Adapted from "China Moon Cookbook" by Barbara Tropp.

1/3 cup dried red chile flakes

3 tablespoons fermented black beans, unrinsed and coarsely chopped

2 large cloves garlic, slightly crushed

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1 1/4 cups canola oil

3 tablespoons sesame oil

1. In a small saucepan, combine the chile flakes, fermented black beans, garlic, ginger, canola and sesame oils. Heat the mixture over medium-low heat until a thermometer inserted (a clip-on candy thermometer works well) reaches about 220 degrees Fahrenheit; the oil will simmer and gently sizzle. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes to infuse the flavors; reduce the heat as needed to keep the temperature below 250 degrees.

2. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Transfer the cooled oil and solids to a glass jar and store in a cool space. The oil mellows after several days and will keep for months.

Each tablespoon: 123 calories; 0 protein; 0 carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 14 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 0 sugar; 0 sodium.