When you’re ready to leave behind the basic flavor of cooking oils for something a bit more appealing, you’ve become ready to learn how to use herbs and spices to infuse cooking oil. The options for infusing cooking oil is countless, but there is one oil that our family enjoys time and time again, an Asian infused oil using ginger, onion, garlic and chives. This infusion is going to knock the socks off of you!
The Right Oil
Selecting the right oils is just as important as selecting, well, the right hair color. Where do you start? Maybe it’s with an oil with mild flavor, or it could be a heavy oil with a flavor all its own.
If you’re looking for an oil that will provide a hint of herbal flavor, then chive blossoms infused in olive oil will work perfectly. However, if you want more of the herb flavor to shine, select a light oil for infusion. A prime example of this is the blend we’re about to share.
A few oils can be considered to be both heavy and light, depending on how you’re intending to use them.
- Grape Seed
- Pumpkin Seed
The longevity and storage of infused oils will vary based on the technique you use.
Unlike heavy oils, lighter oils have been said to have a longer shelf life. For example, anything infused with olive oil should be stored in refrigerator once the infusion has been completed. Whereas an infusion with safflower oil can be stored in the pantry if used in a timely manner.
Regardless of what technique you choice, you’re going to love infusing cooking oils!
- It begins by selecting the oils and herbs of your choice, fresh works best for this method. The herbs can either be thinly sliced or pulverized in a food process; pulverizing will provide maximum flavor.
- Allow the herbs to infuse anywhere from a few days to two weeks. Remember, how long it takes to achieve maximum flavor will depend on the herbs you selected.
- Infused oils using this process, if not strained, should be stored in the refrigerator or it can turn rancid.
- Again, begin by selecting the oil and herb blend of your choice. Hot infusion works great for woody herbs like sage, thyme, mints or rosemary. Dried/preserved items, like chili peppers, also work well with this method.
- Gently warm the oil over the stove on low, the temperature should never be higher than 150 degrees. Anything higher than 150 degrees will cook the oil, which will change its flavor and can possibly cause the infused oil to become rancid.
- Once the oil has been slightly heated remove from the heat and add the herbs. Store the infusion in a covered glass container. This method does not need to be refrigerated, but keep in mind, the longer the herbs are allowed to sit in the oil the stronger the oil flavor can become.
Asian Infused Cooking Oil
This oil infusion comes from my Asian roots, and a homage to my momma. The woman who tried desperately to teach me how to cook, and at the time I had no desire to learn. The sad, sad truth.
It’s a light oil with delicious flavors, all of which you’ll get in every bite. Plan to use this oil to stir fry veggies or pan fry a nice steak in the cast iron. I’m pretty confident you’re going to enjoy its flavor, heck I know you will!
Make sure to select only the freshest ingredients to infuse.
- Safflower oil or any light flavored oil
This Asian cooking oil can be stored outside of the refrigerator, but keep in mind, infused items can go rancid easily. Not as quickly as olive oil, so use your best judgment when it comes to storing.
- Quart size glass vessel or the vessel size of your choosing
- Finely slice the herbs and fill the glass jar
- Fill the jar with the oil of preference
- Infuse for 1-2 weeks in a cool dark location, gently shaking the jar once a day
- Strain the oil from the herbs into in a glass jar
If you’ve strained the oils from the herbs it can be stored in the pantry, but if you plan on keeping the herbs in the oil this recipe should be stored in the refrigerator.
Let me leave you with a few other ideas on infusing oils, you’ll enjoy these!