- Skill Level: Easy
- Cost: Inexpensive
- Favorited: 2 Times
Can be made ahead of time.
Flavored oils are the cook’s best friend. In Southeast Asia, these oils—others include scallion oil, chile oil, garlic oil, and combinations thereof—are added at the last moment, just before the dish is served. Sometimes they are floated on the surface of a soup when it is served, as olive oil or butter might be on a Mediterranean or European soup, to give a subtle extra richness. Other times they are added near the end of cooking to pull all the flavors together and accentuate them. Try adding this oil at the last minute to other soups to give them another layer of flavor and heat.
Heat the oil in a small heavy skillet. When it is hot, toss in the chiles and garlic and wait several seconds, until they start to brown, then remove from the heat and remove the chiles. Add the oil and garlic to the hot soup, or put out as a table condiment.
NOTE ON SCALING UP: To multiply the recipe, increase the oil and garlic in the same proportion, but the chiles by less than half as much again. For example, to triple the recipe, use 6 tablespoons oil, 3 tablespoons sliced garlic, and only 6 to 8 chiles.
Nutritional information is based on the entire recipe.