Amazing and Authentic Szechuan Sauce Recipe! Use as a flavorful stir-fry sauce for veggies or noodles, or as a flavorful marinade for tofu, chicken, shrimp or beef! Healthier than store-bought versions with no preservatives or msg, It is gluten-free adaptable and vegan! Can be made in 5 minutes flat and keeps for 10 days in the fridge!
Here’s an amazingly delicious and authentic recipe for Szechuan Sauce that we’ve been using ever since our trip to Shanghai a few years ago!
I’m a huge fan of Szechuan Sauce but hate all the preservatives, sugars and msg that go into store-bought versions, so we make our own at home. So fast and easy!
This version of Szechuan Sauce is FULL of flavor and can be made very spicy or kept very mild. It has a multitude of uses, but mainly we’ve been using it for quick and easy stir fry or as a marinade for meat or tofu. You’ve seen a version of it in the Sheet Pan Szechuan Chicken and Brussel Sprouts recipe a while back and so many of you have commented on the recipe, I thought it deserved a post of its own!
This version of Szechuan Sauce has Szechuan Peppercorns in it – but if you don’t have them, don’t fret! Just use black pepper or peppercorns!
The Szechuan peppercorns give the sauce a really authentic “zingy-ness” that is hard to replicate, but it also tastes just fine without!
Wonderful for meal prep, you can use this scratch-made sauce in this flavorful stir-fry as well!
Always remember to go lightly at first with Szechuan peppercorns they are definitely an acquired taste, perfumy and complex, while having a unusual numbing effect on the tongue. Some people looooooove this. Some do not. The best thing to do is just try one! We all taste things differently!
When I first tried Szechuan peppercorns, I have to admit, I was not a fan. But after I went to China, and had them in moderate doses, I actually grew to love them. So be sure start conservatively! Remember you can always just plop one in your mouth to get the gist of it. 😉
Whether you add the Szechuan peppercorns or not, the Szechuan Sauce is still delicious and worth making so I hope you give it a try. It’s especially great on tofu – either baked or crispy pan seared!
AMAZING Authentic Szechuan Sauce! Use as an easy delicious stir-fry sauce or flavorful marinade – preservative-free, msg free, gluten-free adaptable, vegan and full of amazing flavor! Can be made in 5 minutes! Keeps for 10 days in the fridge!
- Prep Time: 10
- Total Time: 10
- Yield: ½ cup 1x
- Category: sauce, condiment
- Method: Whisked
- Cuisine: Chinese
- ½ –1 teaspoon Szechuan Peppercorns (or sub black peppercorns)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce ( of GF Liquid Aminos)
- 3 tablespoons honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, brown sugar or sugar alternative
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (or black vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine (shaoxing) or mirin (both optional)
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced (use a garlic press)
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely minced ( or use ginger paste)
- 1 tablespoon garlic chili paste (like sambal oelek) more for more spicy or sub 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- ½ teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
- optional- 2-3 teaspoons corn starch, to thicken, see notes.
- Toast szechuan peppercorns in a hot dry skillet over medium heat, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Crush.
- Place all ingredients in a medium bowl or small jar and whisk until well combined.
- If using as a stir-fry sauce, and you would like to thicken it, whisk in 2 teaspoons cornstarch.
- If using as a marinade, forgo the cornstarch and make sure to season what you are marinating ( chicken, tofu, beef) with salt. The marinade alone will probably not be salty enough.
- If making a stir-fry, try adding a few dry Chinese or Arbol chilies (5-10) to the stir-fry, right before adding the Szechuan Sauce. Do not eat the chilis. 😉
Makes a little over ½ a cup and will keep for 10 days in the fridge.
If you prefer a thicker sauce when stir-frying, add corn starch.
Szechuan Peppercorns add a unique flavor, but using too much will overpower. If unfamiliar, start with ½ teaspoon. If you’ve never tired one, just plop one in in your mouth and taste it. It has a very strong perfumy flavor and numbing effect on the tongue, adding interesting complexity! A little goes a long way. This may be very pleasant, or very unpleasant to you. This, for me was an acquired taste. You can absolutely leave these out and sub black peppercorns.
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