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Piri Piri Oil

2 cups

10 minutes

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This is our version of the spicy, herbal piri-piri oil that's offered as a condiment on nearly every restaurant table in Lisbon. Instead of hard-to-find piri-piri chilies, we used árbol chilies; to get the right heat level and color, we coarsely grind half of them and simply break the rest by hand. Store the oil in a tightly sealed container for up to one month. If you like, the recipe can be halved. If you can’t find árbol, substitute with 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes and 2 teaspoons sweet paprika.




Don't overheat the oil or its flavor will turn acrid. Use an instant thermometer to monitor the temperature, and don't let it go above 275°F.

10 minutes


  • 1

    cup árbol chilies, stemmed and broken in half

  • 2

    cups sunflower oil


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Christopher H.

Made a batch this morning. It's still cooling, so I haven't sampled yet, I'd make this again just for the wonderful aromas that are currently filling my kitchen!

A couple of thoughts on the recipe. First, it would be nice to have the amount of chilis by weight, rather than volume. Given the inconsistent size and shape of dried chilis, 1 cup is a rather imprecise measurement. The notes say this recipe is nearly ubiquitous in Lisbon restaurant. How about providing some examples of how locals uses it? The Portuguese style beef recipe here that calls for it sounds delightful, but some other examples would be nice. For me, my plans include using it in a vinaigrette to serve over grilled veggies, in a marinade for a grilled chicken recipe I do often and over some fish.