Homemade Asian Red Chili Paste is much more economical and tastier than store-bought ones. Make it using simple ingredients in just a few minutes and refrigerate for up to 15 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
I am sharing the recipe to make simple red chili paste and chili paste with seasoning. Choose the one that you like better.
About Red Chili Paste
Asian Red Chili Paste is a condiment made using dried red chilies. This spicy, red, and fiery paste is used a lot in Asian recipes and it is one of the must-have ingredients in my pantry.
Be it Chinese, Thai, Malaysian, Vietnamese, or Korean cuisine, this simple paste is an integral part of the recipes. It gives a spicy kick and a depth of flavor to any dish it is added to and elevates its flavor to the next level.
Although it is very easily available in the market, making it at home is always a good idea. Homemade chilli paste is made using high-quality ingredients, it is free of any preservatives and artificial colors and is also much more economical than the store-bought tub.
You can make this paste in 2 ways
- Plain with only dried red chilies
- With seasonings
I am sharing both versions in the post below.
There are some other varieties of chili pastes used in Asian cooking. One is Malaysian Sambal Oelek and the other is Korean Gochujang. You can check the recipe to make Sambal Oelek here and Gochujang here.
Ingredients & Variations
Chilies – You can use any Asian dried red chilies to make this paste. I used Szechuan dried chilies which I ordered from Amazon.
Indian chilies like Kashmiri or Bydegi also work great.
To give this paste a Mexican twist, use Ancho, Guajillo, or Arbol Chilies. They are slightly smoky and add a beautiful depth to the paste.
The hotness of this paste depends on the quality of chilies used. Use hot chilies if you want to make a hot paste and use mild ones for a milder taste. Its color also depends on the variety of chili used.
You can also use a mix of chilies. I sometimes make it with a combination of Kashmiri and Bydegi chilies. Kashmiri chilies give this paste a lovely color and the Bydegi chilies give the heat.
Tip – Remove the seeds from the chilies for a milder taste.
Oil – Use canola oil, vegetable oil, olive oil, or sesame oil.
Others – You can flavor the chilli paste a little bit more by adding more ingredients such as fresh garlic cloves, shallots, fresh ginger, white vinegar, salt, sugar, ground cumin, black pepper, ground cayenne pepper, or even smoked paprika.
You can also add ½ teaspoon of xanthan gum to the recipe to make the texture of the paste stable. Xanthan gum is easily available these days in supermarkets and it is a natural ingredient with no side effects.
Add a teaspoon of dark soy sauce for an umami kick.
For extra heat, you can add some red pepper flakes or chili powder.
How To Make Asian Red Chili Paste
Transfer 2 oz (50 g) dried red chilies (stalks removed) to a large mixing bowl.
Pour 3 cups of boiling hot water over the chilies and let them soak for 25-30 minutes. Keep a heavy ladle or something heavy over the chilies to prevent them from floating on top of the water.
Blend The Chilies
Drain the water and add the soaked chilies to a blender or a food processor along with ¼ cup water.
Blend to make a smooth thick paste. Scrape the sides of the blender a few times while blending.
Note – I use a high-speed blender to blend the chilies and the seeds also get blended well. But if your blender is not powerful enough, then try to remove as many seeds from the chilies before blending, or else a few seeds in the paste are also totally fine.
Make Plain Chilli Paste
Heat 2 tablespoon vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chilli paste to the pan and saute for about 3-4 minutes.
Remove the pan from heat and let the paste cool completely. Transfer it to a clean jar, secure it with a tight lid, and refrigerate for up to 15 days. Use as desired!
Make Chilli Paste With Seasonings
Heat 2 tablespoon vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add 2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic, 2 teaspoon finely chopped ginger, and saute for 30-40 seconds.
Add the chilli paste, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1 tablespoon white vinegar. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Cool and store.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, cooking it in oil is very important as it increases its shelf life. If you are adding onion, garlic, ginger, etc, cooking it will add more taste and also ensures that nothing added to the paste is raw.
Yes, you can make it using fresh red chilies, but it won’t last long. You will have to finish it within 5 to 6 days. The color and flavor will also not be very intense when made using fresh chilies.
Red chilli paste is denser than chili sauce. It is also more intense in flavor and color.
This spicy chili paste is so versatile that you can spice up any dish that you want, be it Asian, Indian, or Mexican!
Try adding it to your curries, stir fry vegetables, fried rice, noodles, soups, salads, dim sum filling, etc.
You can mix it with Greek yogurt and serve it as a dip or use it as a marinade for vegetables, meats, or seafood recipes.
Add a nice spicy kick to your nachos, pasta, pizza, savory tarts, and pies with this versatile paste.
You can also mix a little bit with eggs and make omelets or scrambled eggs.
Add it to your burgers, sandwiches, rolls, and wraps.
You can also use it to make hot sauce and
Homemade chilli paste will last in the fridge for about 15 to 20 days when stored in an air-tight container.
For increased shelf life, freeze it in a freezer-safe container for about 6 months.
You can freeze the paste in an ice cube tray and then transfer the cubes to a ziplock bag. This way you can thaw only the amount you want to use. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and it will be ready to use.
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Homemade Asian Red Chili Paste Recipe
- 2 ounce dried red chili (50 g, I used Szechuan chili but you can use whichever you want. Remove the stalks.)
- 3 cups boiling hot water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
For Seasoned Red Chili Paste
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- Transfer the dried red chilies to a large mixing bowl.
- Pour boiling hot water over the chilies and let them soak for 25-30 minutes. Keep a heavy ladle or something heavy over the chilies to prevent them from floating on top of the water.
Blend The Chilies
- Drain the water and add the soaked chilies to a blender along with ¼ cup water.
- Blend until smooth. Scrape the sides of the blender a few times while blending.
- I use a high-speed blender to blend the chilies and the seeds also get blended well. But if your blender is not powerful enough, then try to remove as many seeds from the chilies before blending, or else a few seeds in the paste are also totally fine.
Make Plain Chilli Paste
- Heat vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chili paste to the pan and saute for about 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the pan from heat and let the paste cool completely. Transfer it to a clean jar with a tight lid and refrigerate for up to 15 days. Use as desired!
Make Chilli Paste With Seasonings
- Heat vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add garlic and ginger, and saute for 30-40 seconds.
- Add the chili paste, salt, sugar, and white vinegar. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Cool and store.