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Old 05-07-2009, 07:11 PM   #1
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Infused Oil Help??

I plan on making frying some tofu in infused oil. To do this, I want to start with some strongly flavored oil.

I intend to fry some whole spices (chilis, mustard, coriander, etc) in oil that is just barely hot enough to bubble around the the spices for a few minutes, then add chopped ginger & garlic til it browns and strain the whole thing. I've never done this, though and I'm hoping to get some advice from anyone who has. Specifically,

  1. how much spice should I use (how much flavor will the oil have??)
  2. How hot should I cook it (I'm concerned about burning the spices)
If anyone has experience, I'd appreciate some advice.

Thanks

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Old 05-07-2009, 08:01 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vyapti View Post
...
  1. how much spice should I use (how much flavor will the oil have??)
  2. How hot should I cook it (I'm concerned about burning the spices)
If anyone has experience, I'd appreciate some advice.

Thanks
IT's difficult to say how much you should use. A lot depends on which spices and whether they are whole or cracked or ground.

I would not cook them very hot at all. I'd go with lower heat and longer time to extract the flavors without burning. Then you can add the garlic and ginger without fear if burning.
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:05 PM   #3
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To add to what Andy said, if you make it too strong you can always just add more plain oil to get the the strength you want.
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:50 PM   #4
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I'm thinking I'll use 1/4 cup spices with a cup of oil, then dilute it from there. I usually fry whole spices, but leave them in instead of dicarding them. I guess some trial and error is on order.
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:36 PM   #5
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Just be careful how you store your oils that now contain low-acid items since it can become a breeding ground for the Botulism toxin at room temperature.
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:24 PM   #6
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Here's a few links that might help you out.

Dipping Oils and Vinegars: How to Safely Prepare Homemade Infused Mixes | DoItYourself.com
Everything you need to know,and then some.

Flavored Oil Recipes like Garlic Seasoned Salad Oil or Chili Lemon Oil Recipes
Great recipes with this one :)

Good luck

Munky.
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:36 AM   #7
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I've made a bunch of infused oils, mostly with hot peppers... their are 2 things i think are really important:

1) crush the peppers and get the seeds out. your not going to extract/ infuse nearly as much flavor into the oil if you dont get that stuff out into the oil directly. i'd also suggest heating the peppers a bit before putting them in the oil, that seems to help

2) when making the infused oil, you want to cook at a low temprature and stir constantly... i would say its similar to when im making a cheese sauce, low temp, slowly bring the heat up, and constantly stirring.

as far as ratio, like mentioned above depends on the pepper and the oil. i'll usuallu go 1 cup oil and 2 peppers for a more mild pepper and 1 pepper for a hotter pepper.

however, i really wouldnt be concerned hear as you can always just dilute with more oil if the flavor becomes too intense
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:20 PM   #8
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I used 1 cup of oil with 1/4 cup of wholes spices, 3 crumbled dried peppers, some ginger & garlic and curry leaves. I simmered it so the oil was just barely bubbling around the ginger. After cooking for 20 minutes, I strained the mess and refrigerated. It was more mild than I had hoped, but the flavor was good. The oil seemed to accept the heat more than the flavor.
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Old 05-12-2009, 01:23 AM   #9
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Next time either course grind or at least crack the spices - then after you turn the heat off let everything sit and steep (I would put the lid on the pot for this) until room temp - then strain and go on from there. I have never had to stir my herbs/spices constantly - just once every so often - but I don't get the oil very hot, just an occasional bubble. I would give the spices a little head start over the ginger and garlic though - assuming you are using fresh.

I'm not saying this is the way, or the right way, it's just how I usually do it.
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:24 AM   #10
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I made herb infused oil last summer and really enjoyed it. It wasn't that flavorful, however. I should make it again ... if I don't practice, I for sure am not going to master the art.

Thanks for re-inspiring me !

Thinking back; I didn't cook the oil though - I toasted the herbs in the oven and then added them to the oil. It didn't have much flavor, though.

I could have just put the herbs in the oil, I read online, but it would take weeks for the flavor to develop.

Cooking oil then gettting it into a container sounds like a mess that I might accidently pour on myself....and what do you do with the herbs, do you put them in the container afterwards or discard them ?
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