15 Best Chili Oil Substitute

Do you like spicy meals and Japanese or Chinese cuisine? In any case, you should be aware of the significance of hot chilli oil in numerous cuisines. One of the most versatile condiments (and sometimes an ingredient) you may use in your cooking.

However, here is chili oil substitute you can try; Chili Garlic Oil, Cayenne Pepper, Bird’s Eye Chili, Sichuan pepper oil, Gochujang, Sweet chili sauce, Soy Sauce, Black Bean Sauce, Dried Pepper, Sriracha, Hot Chilies Oil, Tabasco Hot Sauce, Sambal, Chili Flakes, Serrano Chili, and Shallot Crisps.

Keep reading to learn all about this chili oil substitute!

What Is Chili Oil

It is often the primary base for Italian, Korean, and Chinese cuisine and is widely preferred due to its heat and spiciness.

The spicy chili oil can be used to fry meat or vegetables. It is made from chili pepper and pepper flakes, and the chili transfers its spicy nature to the oil when mixed and heated with hot vegetable oil. It has gained popularity around the world and has several versions that employ different oils and hot peppers.

While making chili oil, additional components such as sugar, water, soy sauce, herbs, and spices are added. Chili oil can be used as a dip with various meals such as dim sum and pork, or as an ingredient in the dish.

Some chili oil recipes call for sesame, soybean, olive, or any other natural oil of your choice. Chili oil flavors include garlic, paprika, onions, Sichuan pepper, and peanuts.

Best Chili Oil Substitute

1. Chili Garlic Oil

Consider making chili garlic oil if you want your dishes to appear restaurant-worthy. This simple recipe may appear complicated initially, but you can follow it quickly, and it only takes 15-20 minutes. Chili powder and garlic enhance the spiciness of your food.

The type of oil you use determines the outcome of the dish. Therefore, pick a neutral oil, such as avocado or grapeseed. These oils do not compete in taste with the other ingredients.

2. Cayenne Pepper

While chili oil is hard to beat regarding versatility, you can achieve a similar taste with cayenne pepper. Both flavor profiles don’t sync up but offer the same spicy flavor. It will add the necessary kick to your dish.

Cayenne pepper is a hot chili pepper widely used to spice dishes.

Cayenne pepper is also commonly used in the preparation of chili oil. It is widely accessible and can be used as a substitute for Chili oil in cooking.

3. Bird’s Eye Chili

Bird’s Eye Chili are small pointed chilies that grow in small bushes. They are a staple in Thai cuisine. It has a peppery, fruity taste and intense heat. Bird’s Eye chili does not darken the oil too much, so expect your oil to look pale to colorless. You can also adjust the intensity of its heat by adding raw chopped bird’s eye chili.

You can infuse bird’s eye chili with peanut oil, cinnamon, and garlic cloves simmered for an hour.

4. Sichuan pepper oil

Sichuan Pepper Oil is not made from chili but from peppercorns. Sichuan Pepper Oil comes in 2 varieties, red and green. No, the oil does not come in those colors. The colors refer to the color of the peppercorn used. The oil comes from any neutral oil infused with red or green peppercorns.

The green variety has a more intense numbing flavor. Generally, the red peppercorn variety is recommended for use. It has a lemony, sweet, spicy, numbing taste. Sichuan pepper oil has a pale color. It is a good chili oil substitute for a frying base or a topping.

5. Gochujang

Gochujang is a thick paste from Korea made from fermented soybeans, sugar, sticky rice, and chilies. The paste is savory with a burnt flavor in red color. Gochujang is a thick paste and requires thinning in a liquid. It is used in braises and long-simmering stews. You can also use it in marinating Korean bulgogi. 

Gochujang has a sweet, salty, with hints of meaty taste and can be extraordinarily spicy. However, you may easily substitute it for chili oil as a condiment. This is most likely to be found in specialist stores that sell imported products.

6. Sweet chili sauce

This sauce complements Thai and Asian cuisines by combining spiciness, sweetness, and savory notes. You can use this sauce as a chili oil substitute because chili oil is used for dipping. You can use this sauce as a chili oil substitute in dipping.

Although you can buy them from grocery stores, we recommend making some at home. It is a healthy alternative; you can also make it in large quantities later. It’s easy to make with essential ingredients, including vinegar, garlic, red chili paste or chili flakes, garlic, lime, and sugar.

You can substitute sugar for honey or brown rice syrup. Combine them in a blender, and your sauce is ready!

6. Soy Sauce

Another surprising chili oil substitute is soy sauce. Soy sauce is a staple in Asian cuisine as a cooking ingredient and dipping sauce. Add chili flakes and steep soy sauce to create a salty, spicy flavor.  Add lime juice to your spicy soy sauce to make an excellent dipping sauce for your dim sum.

Soy sauce is more or less synonymous with Asian cuisine. You can use it directly instead of chili oil or add some chili flakes and other spices. Soya sauce will give it a closer and more spicy taste that resembles chili oil.

7. Black Bean Sauce

Black bean sauce is a favorite condiment in Asian and Chinese cuisine. It has a salty flavor, but with the addition of chili flakes, it can match the taste of chili oil. Using black bean sauce instead of chili oil may result in a saltier flavor than usual.

However, if you want to match it to the taste of chili oil, you can always add some spices. It may sound unusual, but you can use black bean sauce as a chili oil substitute. Add chili flakes and let them steep.

8. Dried Pepper

Dried pepper is often infused with vegetable oil to make chili oil. Therefore, you can easily use it as a chili oil substitute while cooking rice, noodles, pasta, and other dishes without noticing any difference in your dish. Place dried chili peppers in an oil bottle with a shelf life of at least a year as a stand-in for chili oil.

You must infuse this oil for at least a month before the peppers entirely release their flavors. Use only completely dehydrated peppers for this method. Clostridium botulinum can form when oil is made with ripe or undried peppers. It can lead to severe food poisoning as well.

 9. Sriracha Chili Sauce

Sriracha is one of the closest substitutes to chili oil. Sriracha is made from red Jalapenos with a low Scoville heat

The main difference is that sriracha is a sauce, whereas chili oil uses vegetable oils. Apart from this, both consist of chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and salt.

10. Hot Chilies Oil

You can simmer fresh chilies, such as Szechuan or jalapenos, in hot oil for approximately 30 minutes, then separate the oil and use the spicy red oil as a substitute.

Stir-frying the chilies for a few minutes in hot oil can also create heat and spice if you use an oil with a higher boiling point. Hot chilies oil won’t be a paste, but somewhat oily mixture, so it might not be as versatile or helpful in many dishes.

11. Tabasco Hot Sauce

Tabasco is a Mexican variety of chili pepper and the main ingredient in making the famous Tabasco hot sauce. Hot sauce is a generic name and does not necessarily mean it is Tabasco. Hot sauce is any fermented chili sauce made from vinegar, salt, and chilies.

It is not oily like chili oil but is saucy and spicy. The hotness depends on the Scoville heat of the chilies used. Even if it is not oily, you still get the same spicy, slightly sweet taste of chili oil.

12. Serrano Chili and Shallot Crisps

Serrano chili has a slightly citrusy and earthy flavor that is more intense than its relative, the Jalapenos. The oil is infused with fried serrano chili, shallots, toasted garlic, ginger, and other spices.

Unlike chili oil, where only the liquid remains, the chili bits and other ingredients are not filtered but left in the oil. This results in a tangy, fiery textured condiment. You can also use non-oil-based condiments to replicate or create a similar flavor profile as chili oil.

13. Sambal

Sambal is an Indonesian chili paste or sauce. It is made from different chili varieties with ingredients like shallots, ginger, shrimp paste, scallions, garlic, lime juice, and palm sugar. To make the oil, simmer sambal in peanut oil to make the infusion. The overall taste is mild, sweet, and spicy.

You can use sambal oil the same way you use chili oil, including marinades.

14. Chili Flakes

Making a simple chili oil by heating a teaspoon of crushed red pepper with about a quarter cup of oil is one of the easiest ways to make chili oil. Simmer the mixture on low heat for about ten minutes. Strain the mixture and then get rid of the seeds and flakes.

The ingredients for this substitution are likely to be found in your pantry, so you can easily make it whether you enjoy eating out or cooking regularly. You can easily find chili flakes and step up your cooking game. 

To get the same element as chili oil, you can always add some vegetable oil to chili flakes and serve it as a substitute.

15. Homemade Chili Oil

You have chili oil? No problem! Use a simple homemade recipe to replace it. However, you can use the oil of your choice.

First, gather up the following ingredients:

  • Chili peppers (paprika, Sichuan pepper, and chili flakes)
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Salt


Chop them carefully or throw them in a food processor.

Next, add the oil, onions, garlic, dried peppers, and salt (if using) to a small pot and stir. Heat to medium-low heat and often stir for about 5 minutes. As you are heating and cooking the mixture, stir it regularly. To prevent the mixture from drying out, add a bit of olive oil now and then.

Do not allow the oil to smoke. If it smokes, remove it from the heat to reduce the temperature. The goal is not to boil the oil but to simmer it, allowing the flavors of the peppers to infuse it. You can also add more seasonings and cook it for five more minutes.

As the chili oil cools, use a filter to remove any large pieces of chili, garlic, and onions.

Once you’re done, transfer the newly created paste into a jar. Remember to use a tight container and let the paste cool slightly. Please don’t put it in the fridge immediately; letting it cool before refrigerating the oil is always wise.


Whether you buy it from your local store or prepare it at home using our recipe, chili oil is a simple and delicious condiment that you can use to add a touch of spice and flavor to nearly any dish.

However, other alternatives are available if you are looking for a viable chili oil substitute that will give you the same taste as chili oil and still have greater control over the taste of the dish’s taste.  

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