Tuning the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction (DMI) using electric (E)-fields in magnetic devices has opened up new perspectives for controlling the stabilization of chiral spin structures. Recent efforts have used voltage-induced charge redistribution at magnetic/oxides interfaces to modulate the DMI. This approach is attractive for active devices but tends to be volatile, making it energy-demanding. Here we demonstrate nonvolatile E-field manipulation of the DMI by ionic-liquid gating of Pt/Co/HfO2 ultra thin films. The E-field effect on the DMI is linked to the migration of oxygen species from the HfO2 layer into the Co and Pt layers and subsequent anchoring. This effect permanently changes the properties of the material, showing that E-fields can be used not only for local gating in devices but also as a material design tool for post growth tuning of the DMI.