4 or 5 T. Chili flakes in the chili oil?

the chili oil recipe says to add the chili flakes to the saucepan along with the 4 cloves minced garlic, half-head of garlic, gnger, chili flakes, dried red chilis, star anise, and oil, all in Step 1. Then, in Step 2, you’re supposed to add 1 T. more of chili flakes. So which is it: add 3 T. in Step 1 and 1 T. in Step 2, or add 4 T. in Step 1 and ANOTHER 1 T. in Step 2?

Hollis Ramsey
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4 Comments

Stephanie B. June 4, 2020
I haven't made this in a while, but I think I used 5 tbsp total of chili flakes: 4 in step 1 and 1 more in step 2. But I don't think the difference of 1 tbsp chili flakes will break this chili oil, I've even re-used the solid matter left after I made a batch and re-cooked/steeped it to make another batch and it was still great.
 
Nancy June 5, 2020
Also, both recipe headnote and experience suggest recipe is variable, depending on your tastes and/or what you have on hand.
Especially with regard to garlic, chili flakes and garlic - make with lower or higher amounts of those, as you prefer.
 
Nancy June 5, 2020
3rd item that you can vary - should be Szechuan pepper (not garlic again).
 
Hollis R. June 5, 2020
I think I’ll make it a first time according to the recipe as written before I decide on how to vary it to suit my preference. And that’s why I wanted to clarify the amount of chili flakes that Betty intended.

I’m totally into serious heat. Yes, it’s painful, but some people (like me) are able to appreciate both the sensation and the underlying taste. It’s not a dish just to be eaten, it’s a complete experience. And the ma la is a big part of it.
 
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