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substitute for blooming whole spices in oil

This summer I'm planning to make a plum-based sauce with a Szechuan flavor profile--Chinese black vinegar, ginger, Chinese peppers, star anise, cloves, Chinese guì pí cinnamon stick, brown mustard seed.  I'm working from a recipe I found, but tweaking it a lot to suit my own tastes.  The original recipe calls for frying the star anise, cloves, cinnamon stick, and mustard seed in sesame oil for a few minutes before gradually adding the rest of the ingredients.  After simmering the whole mixture for about 20 minutes, you remove the star anise pod, cloves, and cinnamon stick before blending and bottling the sauce.
 
Blooming spices in oil is a great way to draw out the flavors--but I know that oil isn't considered safe in hot sauce if you're planning to store it.  Has anyone found another way to get the same kind of flavor out of whole spices that will be removed before the sauce is finished?  Or is there a way to use oil in a sauce and make it safe to bottle (using a hot fill/hold process) and store, refrigerated, for 6+ months?
 
You can also dry roast the spices before use. Put them in a pot over medium high heat and keep stirring. The heat will help expel the oils to the surface of the spices. If you just want to bring out the flavors, dry roast in the pain until fragrant. You can push it a bit longer to toast them, but that doesn't always work out. I do this with cumin seeds pretty much every time I use them. Cook them right up to when you first see some smoke, and pour them onto a plate to cool a bit before grinding.
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
If you've heard of mulled wine or mulled cider, then you know it is simmered with the spices in a pan. The trick for sauce is, if you don't want wine or cider in your recipe, you can use vinegar or even water.
 

The Hot Pepper

Founder
Admin
Use the Bragg ACV with the mother... mull the spices in the apple cider vinegar, take them out, use that vinegar for your sauce. That's what I would do.
 
Thanks!  I think I'm going to do a combination of these--dry roast the spices, then steep them in vinegar.  I Googled up some instructions for making infused vinegars with spices, and several of them recommended using cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, and other woody spices.  They all had the same recommendation for the process:  warm the vinegar-spice mixture, then cool and bottle and let it steep for a while.  The steeping time was where they differed--I saw anywhere from a week to 6-8 weeks.  I'll taste mine as I go and play it by ear.  
 
Make Flavored Vinegars with Herbs
https://www.motherearthliving.com/food-matters/make-flavored-vinegars-with-herbs
 
How to Make Your Own Infused Vinegar in 7 Simple Steps
https://www.organicauthority.com/eco-chic-table/how-to-make-your-own-infused-vinegar-in-7-simple-steps
 
Make Spiced & Flavoured Vinegars, Pickling Vinegars
https://www.allotment-garden.org/recipe/oils-vinegar/make-spiced-flavoured-vinegars-pickling-vinegars/
 
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