Chimichurri meets Sichuan flavors in this punchy sauce that pairs so well with roast meats such as turkey. The traditional Argentine and Uruguayan condiment features handfuls of parsley, garlic, chile flakes, olive oil and vinegar. This version mixes cilantro with Chinese black vinegar, light soy sauce, garlic, ginger and Sichuan pepper-infused oil.
If infusing your own Sichuan pepper oil, you should make it at least two days in advance.
Combine the cilantro, black vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, chile pepper flakes, salt and pepper in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, but not yet smooth.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and mix with the grapeseed, sesame and Sichuan pepper oils. Let stand for at least 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld before serving.
Jing Gao uses Fly by Jing erjingtiao chiles. Chinese markets carry dried red chiles (la jiao gan), sometimes labeled Sichuan or Chinese chiles. Toast the chiles in a dry frying pan over medium heat until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 1 minute, and grind coarsely for flakes. Or, you can use best-quality crushed red chile flakes.
Gao also uses Fly by Jing Tribute pepper oil. You can also find Sichuan pepper (prickly ash) oil at Chinese markets.
To make your own Sichuan pepper oil, see Make Ahead.
Toast 2 tablespoons of whole Sichuan peppers in a frying pan over low heat, stirring, until they release their fragrance, about 2 to 3 minutes (be sure not to burn). Using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, grind to a coarse powder. Transfer to a heatproof container and set aside.
In a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 cup of neutral oil (such as grapeseed) to 250 degrees. Once the oil is at temperature, pour it slowly over the toasted Sichuan pepper, stirring well. Set aside to cool, then transfer to an airtight jar. “You’ll want to wait a couple of days before using it, because its flavor will develop over time,” writes Gao. Store in a cool, dark place for up to a month. Makes 1 cup.
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