How to Make the Perfect Szechwan Sauce

Updated on January 10, 2020
ShailaSheshadri profile image

Cooking is one of my passions. I like to make nutritious and tasty foods at home.

Szechuan sauce
Szechuan sauce

What Is Szechuan Sauce?

Szechwan sauce is an Indo-Chinese fusion recipe for a spicy hot chili sauce. This sauce can be served as a condiment for veggie cutlets, French fries, potato tikkis, veg momos, or spring rolls. It is also used in many Chinese recipes like fried rice, noodles, and vegetable balls in hot garlic sauce. The possibilities are really endless. It is an awesome accompaniment for pakoras, too. It's the perfect side for any mild-tasting and moderately bland food.

You can store this condiment for two to three 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 the 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 a nice red color to the sauce, though it is less hot. To compensate for the lower level of hotness, I added a hot chili powder. You can blend them in whatever proportion you like to get the desired hotness and bright red color.

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.

Note: You may also see Szechuan spelled as Sichuan. They have the same meaning.

Preparation Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: 1 cup


  • 3 tablespoons Kashmiri chili powder, available in Indian stores
  • 1/2 tablespoon red chili powder, hot variety
  • 15 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup spring onion whites or onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown or regular salt, as to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cane sugar
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons oil
  • 3 Sichuan peppers (optional; I didn't use), crushed


  1. Make a paste by mixing Kashmiri red chili powder, hot red chili powder, and water. Set aside for 10 minutes. During this time, the chili will absorb the water and become soft. Mix well once again.
  2. Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan. Add chopped onion. Sauté till it becomes transparent. Add chopped garlic and ginger. Continue sautéing on low fire for 2 to 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 2 tablespoons of water. Let it boil on low fire. If you want to add the optional 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 to 6 minutes, or till the oil separates and can be seen around the edges.
  5. Check for taste. Adjust, if necessary, 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 a hot garlic sauce, etc., using this sauce.

Photo Guide

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Keep ingredients ready.Sautee the onions.Add the ginger and garlic.Add the chili paste.Add the soy sauce, salt, vinegar, sugar, and pepper powder.Stir-cook the sauce.Final stagesSzechwan sauce is ready to serve.
Keep ingredients ready.
Keep ingredients ready.
Sautee the onions.
Sautee the onions.
Add the ginger and garlic.
Add the ginger and garlic.
Add the chili paste.
Add the chili paste.
Add the soy sauce, salt, vinegar, sugar, and pepper powder.
Add the soy sauce, salt, vinegar, sugar, and pepper powder.
Stir-cook the sauce.
Stir-cook the sauce.
Final stages
Final stages
Szechwan sauce is ready to serve.
Szechwan sauce is ready to serve.

Nutritional Information

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 336 mg14%
* 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.

Rate This Recipe

5 stars from 1 rating of Szechwan sauce


Submit a Comment
  • ShailaSheshadri profile imageAUTHOR


    3 years 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 

    3 years 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 imageAUTHOR


    3 years 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 

    3 years ago from Norfolk, England

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


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