How to Make the Perfect Szechwan Sauce

Updated on July 11, 2017
ShailaSheshadri profile image

Cooking is one of my passions. Though I am working, I make nutritious and tasty food at home. My food has less oil and no artificial color.

Szechuan sauce
Szechuan sauce

About Szechuan Sauce:

Szechwan sauce is an Indo-Chinese fusion sauce of spicy and hot chili sauce. This sauce can be served as a condiment for veggie cutlets, French fries, potato tikkis, veg momos, or spring rolls. The possibilities are really endless. It is an awesome accompaniment for pakoras too. It's the perfect accompaniment for any mild tasting and moderately bland food.

Szechwan sauce is mainly used for making Chinese recipes like fried rice, noodles, and vegetable balls in hot garlic sauce, etc. I made this sauce yesterday. I will use it for one or two weeks, preserving it in the refrigerator. While making the sauce, my hands and face felt hot because of the chilis. It subsided once I came out of the kitchen after finishing the dish.

You can store this condiment for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator. The shelf life increases if you add more oil on top of the sauce. You can use the remaining sauce for eating snacks, crepes, chips etc.

Instead of grinding chilies, I used red chili powders. I soaked them in water before adding in the recipe. I used mostly Kashmiri red chili powder and a small quantity of hot chili powder. Kashmiri chili powder gives nice red color to the sauce, though it is less hot. To compensate the hotness, I used hot chili powder. You can blend them in whatever portion you like to get the desired hotness and bright red color.

5 stars from 1 rating of Szechwan sauce
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: One cup sauce


  • 3 tbsp Kashmiri chili powder, available in Indian stores
  • 1/2 tbsp red chili powder, hot variety
  • 15 garlic cloves, medium size, finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup spring onion whites or onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown or regular salt, as per taste
  • 1 tsp cane sugar
  • 4-5 tbsp oil
  • 3 sichuan peppers, crushed, optional, I didn't use

Step-By-Step Instructions and Images for Making Szechwan Sauce

  1. Make a paste by mixing Kashmiri red chili powder, hot red chili powder, and water. Keep aside for 10 minutes. During this time, chili absorbs water and becomes soft. Mix well once again.
  2. Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan. Add chopped onion. Saute till it becomes transparent. Add chopped garlic and ginger. Continue sauteing on low fire for 2-3 minutes. Don't brown them.
  3. Pour chili paste to the pan and stir cook for 2 minutes. If it is too thick, add two table spoons of water. Let it boil on low fire. If you want to add crushed sichuan pepper, add it now. Continue stirring.
  4. Add soy sauce, salt, sugar, lemon juice or vinegar, and pepper powder. Stir cook for 5-6 minutes or till oil separates and seen on the edges.
  5. Check for the taste. Adjust the taste, by adding salt, sugar, or pepper powder. Turn off the fire.
  6. Once the sauce cools down, transfer it into a bowl or a jar. Refrigerate, if you are not using it instantly.
  7. Serve this sauce as a side dish for snacks, pakoras, momos, spring rolls etc. You can make recipes like fried rice, noodles, veg balls in hot garlic sauce, etc. using this sauce.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
ingredients kept readysauteing onionsginger and garlic addedchili paste added, sauce making in progresssoy sauce, salt, vinegar, sugar, and pepper powder addedsauce making in progressfinal stages of szechwan sauce makingSzechwan sauce
ingredients kept ready
ingredients kept ready
sauteing onions
sauteing onions
ginger and garlic added
ginger and garlic added
chili paste added, sauce making in progress
chili paste added, sauce making in progress
soy sauce, salt, vinegar, sugar, and pepper powder added
soy sauce, salt, vinegar, sugar, and pepper powder added
sauce making in progress
sauce making in progress
final stages of szechwan sauce making
final stages of szechwan sauce making
Szechwan sauce
Szechwan sauce

Nutritional Information of Home Made Szechwan Sauce

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 100
Calories 152
Calories from Fat117
% Daily Value *
Fat 13 g20%
Saturated fat 0 g
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 10 g3%
Sugar 0 g
Fiber 0 g
Protein 2 g4%
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 948 mg40%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Questions & Answers


    Submit a Comment

    • ShailaSheshadri profile image

      ShailaSheshadri 12 months ago from Bengaluru

      Thanks. It is a good recipe. You can store this sauce at least 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator. Do try making this!

    • Spanish Food profile image

      Lena Durante 12 months ago from San Francisco Bay Area

      Wow, I can't wait to try this! Your photos make my mouth water. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • ShailaSheshadri profile image

      ShailaSheshadri 12 months ago from Bengaluru

      Thanks for going through my article. It is really an aromatic, hot, and spicy sauce you can easily make. Please try.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 12 months ago from Norfolk, England

      Oh, that looks a lovely sauce. I'll definitely be trying this. Looks really easy to make too. Thankyou. =)