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How To Make Szechuan Sauce

This is a spicy sauce you can make at home in just about 5 minutes. Instead of looking everywhere for Szechuan sauce not being happy with the kind of sauce you find in the store, you can learn how to make Szechuan sauce on your own.

Be warned, however, that this is a seriously spicy sauce. It’s going to have a lot of heat to it, and you can dial that down if you prefer something that’s not as spicy.

However, classic Szechuan sauce is quite hot and spicy. It may not be exactly to your liking, and you may have to play around with some of the seasonings to get the spiciness to an acceptable level the first few times you make it.  

You can use this sauce in stir fry as a substitute or partner for soy sauce. It can also be used for dipping wontons, dumplings, and other Asian food in.

This is a sauce that can be as thick or as thin as you like, and I would suggest if you’re using it as a dip that you make it a little bit on the thick side. You do that with the addition of cornstarch to the sauce, which you can leave out of the recipe entirely if you want a thinner sauce.

The trick I use to thicken the sauce is to simmer it before serving. As you heat it up, the sauce will thicken, especially if you’ve added enough cornstarch to it. You can do this with sauce that you saved in the fridge as well.

Just check the thickness when it comes out of the fridge and ensure that it is right for what you want. Make your modifications to it to make it as thick or as thin as you like, as I will cover later on in the article. Remember to heat it up to activate the cornstarch, if you are thickening it.

How to Make Szechuan Sauce from Scratch

Szechuan sauce
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How to Make Szechuan Sauce from Scratch

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of chili garlic sauce
  • 2 tbsp of brown sugar
  • ½ tsp of garlic powder
  • ½ tsp of Chinese 5 spice powder
  • ½ tsp of ground ginger
  • ½ tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp of cornstarch (optional)

Instructions

  • Place all of the ingredients together in a bowl and whisk until combined. Add additional pepper or other seasons to adjust the flavor as necessary.
  • Serve right away or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Remember that if you’re thickening the sauce with cornstarch, it needs to heat up. If the sauce is too spicy, you can add additional brown sugar. If it is not spicy enough, simply add more crushed red pepper flakes.

How to Make McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce

The McDonald’s version of the sauce is very popular and famously ran out of stock across the country for a time. There was even an intense social media campaign to bring the sauce back after McDonald’s stop serving it.

The sauce was initially introduced at McDonald’s to promote the film Mulan in 1998. It was discontinued shortly after that and was no longer available until about two decades later. The sauce was never meant to be a permanent addition to the McDonald’s menu, but you might not know that if you have read news stories about the demand for it.

How to make Mulan Szechuan sauce? I’ll show you a method you can use to make it yourself, which can come in very useful since it may be difficult to find at McDonald’s anymore.

This method for how to make McDonalds Szechuan sauce it’s not quite as simple as a traditional Szechuan sauce can require different ingredients and a different preparation method. It is the same method used for how to make Szechuan sauce from Rick and Morty that was so popular a few years ago.

Szechuan sauce from Rick and Morty
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Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • ½ cup of water
  • tsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of lime juice
  • 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp of rice vinegar
  • ¼ tsp of sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp of ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp of cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp of black pepper
  • ¼ tsp of coriander
  • ¼ tsp of ground Szechuan peppercorns
  • 7 tbsp of granulated sugar

Instructions

  • We have to start by preparing the peppercorns and toasting about 2 tablespoons of them in a frying pan. Sauté peppercorns for about 5 minutes on medium heat, cooking until they have started to darken and released a fragrant scent.
  • Use a spice grinder to grind up the toasted peppercorns and then sift through a mesh strainer. This gets rid of the big pieces. You can also use a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder for this part.
  • To make a sauce, mix together soy sauce, 1 cup of water, ginger, salt, garlic, and sesame oil.
  • Cook in a sauce pan over medium heat until your mixture starts to bubble. Then, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. At that point, cover your pan and allow to steep for an additional 12 minutes.
  • Pour the sauce through a mesh strainer and then put the strained sauce into your saucepan once more.
  • Mix together the remaining half cup of water and two tablespoons of cornstarch and stir until a slurry is formed. Add the slurry to the saucepan and add in sugar, peppercorns, coriander and black pepper.
  • Heat the sauce over medium heat until it begins to bubble. From there, lower the heat and allowed to simmer for about three minutes. This should thicken the sauce, and once it is thick enough, remove the sauce from the stove and allow it to cool for three minutes without the lid on.
  • Once the sauce has cooled for a few minutes, you can add in the lime juice and vinegar and stir well. Allow the sauce to cool completely before serving. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. Be sure to stir the sauce before serving.

This method for how to make Szechuan sauce at home is more complicated than the first one, but it definitely gives you that authentic McDonalds flavour that a lot of people are looking for.

Whenever you want some delicious Szechuan sauce, how to make it is all detailed right here for you. Whether you want the traditional version or the McDonald’s version, I have covered both of these for you so you can get it to taste just the way you want it.

This sauce can be served with chicken nuggets or chicken tenders as well as with many Asian foods. It can be added to stir fry, egg fried rice, dumplings, egg rolls, and a variety of meats to give them some extra heat and flavour.

Make sure you don’t go overboard with the heat on this one, as it can turn out quite spicy. Not everyone wants their spice to be quite as hot, so keep that in mind and consider adding spiciness to the sauce individually so it’s not too hot for any one person who is enjoying it.

Written by Pauline

I'm Pauline, a mother of four grown children, my passion for cooking stemmed from the joy i get cooking for my family. I love to try new dishes, especially when dining out but creating and sharing my own recipes is my favourite thing to do!

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