With a staggering amount of heat, birdseye chilli is often used in condiments where heat, rather than flavour, is the main attraction. A very small and highly pungent chilli, it can be used whole, crushed or ground. Heat level: 10/10
To make chilli oil, combine in a bowl 2 tbsp of ground chilli and 2 tbsp of peanut oil. In a small saucepan, heat 2–4 tbsp of peanut oil until hot enough to brown a breadcrumb. Pour the hot oil into the chilli mixture and allow to cool down before straining (optional) and storing in a sterilised jar. For an even more aromatic oil, combine at the start with Sichuan pepper, star anise and garlic clove.