Schezwan (Sichuan or Szechuan) is a popular Chinese cuisine, originally from the Sichuan province of southwestern China. It is known for its bold, pungent and spicy flavors, due to all the chili peppers, ginger, and garlic in it.
Schezwan sauce, however, is a fusion Indo Chinese recipe. A combination of red chilies, ginger, garlic and various other flavorful ingredients, this dip is really spicy with a hint of sweetness.
The sauce is mainly served with starters and appetizers, such as dumplings, wontons, nuggets, cutlets, fries, and tacos. With its tantalizing aroma and attractive red color, this condiment has become quite popular among those who love spicy food.
It is also used as an ingredient in Schezwan recipes, such as Schezwan noodles, rice, soups and more. But the uses of this versatile sauce do not end here.
If you like to experiment with different ingredients and come up with new recipes, then Schezwan sauce is just the thing for you. It can be used to bring a tasty twist to even the most boring and bland food preparations.
Looking for new and innovative ways to cook vegetables? Prepare stir-fried vegetables by tossing in a spoonful of Schezwan sauce with the chopped veggies. Schezwan dry mushroom is another popular appetizer you can make with the help of this ingredient.
Schezwan sauce is easy to find in stores. However, commercial food products often contain preservatives that are not good for your health. So why invest in a potentially unhealthy store-bought product when you can easily prepare this amazing dip at home in less than an hour?
You don’t have to be an expert cook to master this recipe. Just a few simple steps and your Schezwan sauce will be ready in no time. If stored properly, this dip has a pretty impressive shelf life.
Steps to Make Schezwan Sauce
Here we bring you the easiest steps to make Schezwan sauce recipe at home.
Things you’ll need:
- Vegetable oil – ¼ cup
- Garlic (finely chopped) – 15 cloves
- Ginger (finely chopped) – 1½-inch piece
- Onions (chopped) – ½ cup
- Sichuan pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
- Whole red chilies –15 to 20
- Soy sauce – 1 teaspoon
- Vinegar – 1 teaspoon
- Water – as needed
- Tomato puree – ¼ cup
- Sugar – 1 tablespoon
- Salt – to taste
Note: The number of red chilies used depends on how hot and spicy you want your sauce to be and the variety of chilies you are using. You can alter the recipe as per your taste by using more tomato puree (about ½ cup) to balance the taste.
Step 1. Grind the soaked chilies into a paste
- Put 15 to 20 whole red chilies in a bowl and fill it up with water.
- Cover the bowl and let the chilies soak for about 30 minutes.
- Strain out the water from the red chilies.
- Put them in a grinder to make a paste. You may add a little water if needed.
Step 2. Heat vegetable oil in a pan and sauté fresh ginger, garlic, and onion
- Begin by placing the pan on high heat and gradually bring it down to medium.
- Heat up ¼ cup of vegetable oil in the pan.
- Add 15 finely chopped garlic cloves to the oil.
- Now, add finely chopped ginger from a 1½-inch piece of ginger root.
- Sauté the ginger and garlic for a couple of minutes or until the raw smell goes away.
- Add ½ cup chopped onion to the ginger and garlic in the pan.
- Sauté it again for a few minutes.
Step 3. Add the remaining ingredients
- Now, add salt as per your taste preference, and sauté until the onion turns brown.
- Add in 1 tablespoon of sugar to it too.
- Put in ¼ cup of tomato puree and cook the mixture for about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Next, add the chili paste (from Step 1) to the mix.
- Add water, if needed.
- Keep stirring the mixture to prevent it from sticking to the pan.
Step 4. Mix in the rest of the items & let it simmer briefly
- Add 1 teaspoon of Sichuan pepper powder to the other ingredients.
- Also, add 1 teaspoon each of soy sauce and vinegar.
- Mix the ingredients.
- Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture begins to leave oil.
Allow the sauce to cool down and serve it
- Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool for a few minutes.
- Transfer the sauce toa condiment or dip bowl and serve it with snacks.
Put any remaining sauce in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It will keep well for 2 to 3 weeks.
- You can boil the red chilies in hot water for about 10 minutes instead of soaking them in water.
- Adding too much soy sauce will darken the color of the Schezwan sauce. Use it sparingly.
- Add more sugar if you don’t want that pungent flavor in your sauce.
- Another way to ensure that your sauce has a smooth, lump-free texture is to grind together the chilies, ginger, garlic, and onions to form a paste before adding them to the oil.
- Make sure you remove the stems of the red chilies before grinding them.
- If you do not want your sauce to be too spicy, remove the seeds from the dried chilies before putting them in the grinder.
- Choosing a less spicy variety of red chilies will also help ensure the sauce isn’t too spicy.
- You may also add 1 tablespoon of ground celery to the recipe.
- If you are unable to find Sichuan peppers, use black peppercorns instead as per your taste and requirement
- You may use shallots or spring onions instead of regular onions.
- Use a sufficient amount of oil in the recipe. It acts as a preservative when the sauce is stored for a long time.
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