A lemon-zesty oil with many uses in basting or steaming fish and poultry as well as in cold dishes. Keep at cool room temperature in a clean jar.

Ingredients

  • cups corn or peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons Japanese sesame oil
  • ¼ cup shockingly pungent dried red chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Szechwan brown peppercorns
  • 1 large clove garlic, lightly smashed and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons finely julienned fresh ginger
  • cup green and white scallion rings
  • 2 plump stalks fresh lemongrass, pounded, then cut crosswise into finger lengths
  • Finely minced zest of 3 to 4 well-scrubbed lemons

Method

  1. Combine all the ingredients except for the lemon zest in a heavy, non-aluminum -quart saucepan. Bring to 225°F on a deep-fry thermometer over moderately low heat and let bubble for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes, then stir in the lemon zest and let stand overnight or until cool.
  3. Remove and discard the lemongrass. Scrape the oil and seasonings into an impeccably clean container.
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