Homemade Schezwan Sauce

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Spicy Schezwan Sauce is an easy to make hot sauce which can be served as an condiment or used in recipes like Schezwan Fried Rice & Noddles. This sauce is quite popular in the Indo-Chinese cuisine and also happens to be one of my favorites!

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As a food enthusiast, I am always up for trying new food. I love trying new things even if they don’t appeal to me or don’t sound that good. So this weekend we went to the Washington State Fair with my dad and brother. You really get to see the weirdest things to eat in such fairs, isn’t it? There were deep fried snickers, deep fried resse and deep fried oreos among many other deep fried stuff.

They definitely didn’t sound good to me but I thought there’s no harm in trying. And I have to say that it was just a horrible experience. I took one bite of that deep fried snickers and couldn’t even get it down my throat, I just spit it all away. It was really bad, to say the least. I was just baffled that someone would do that to a delicious chocolate like Snickers! Urgh, just why? What is the weirdest thing have you guys eaten at such fairs? Tell me!

What is not weird though and right up my alley is this Homemade Schezwan Sauce. This stuff is so good! Use it on top of your noodles or make a quick schezwan fried rice (recipe on Thursday!) or use it as a dipping sauce for dumplings –  there is just so much that you can do with this versatile sauce. Schezwan sauce is made with dried red chilies. As you can imagine, it is a spicy sauce but there’s also a little sugar to cut down the heat. The amount of sugar that you add to your schezwan sauce is a personal preference. You may more or less depending on how much heat you can tolerate.

It’s a popular sauce in the Indo-Chinese cuisine, and I have always been a fan of this spicy sauce. There was this Indo-chinese restaurant in my hometown in India and I used to love their Schezwan Chili Garlic Noodles. I must make those noddles with this sauce!

This Homemade Schezwan Sauce

✓ is spicy with a hint of sweetness

✓ has a strong garlic flavor

✓ is perfect as a dipping sauce

✓ is also great for quick meals like noodles and fried rice

✓ will stay good in the refrigerator for few weeks

✓ can also be frozen

Recently, I have been making sauces like this schezwan sauce or pesto and freezing them up in ice cube trays. I have the one with lids and it just makes things so much easier. So whenever I need a quick lunch or dinner, I take out couple of these cubes, toss it with pasta/rice/quinoa and I have a nice meal on table in literally no time and with zero efforts! You guys should do this too, it will make busy days much easier. Stay tuned for the recipe of schezwan fried rice which I made using this homemade schezwan sauce. It will be up on the blog on Thursday.

 

Method

Soak dried red chilies in warm water for 30 minutes.

Drain the water and grind the chilies to a smooth paste using 2-3 tablespoons water. You may also use the water in which you had soaked the chilies for grinding. Sorry guys, I forgot to take a picture of the paste 🙁 . Set it aside.

Heat sesame oil in a skillet on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add chopped garlic and ginger and saute till the raw smell goes away. You don’t want to brown them, so keep that in mind.

Then add chopped onion and saute till translucent. Again don’t brown them.

Stir in the prepared red chili paste and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Now add 1/2 cup water and tomato paste. Stir and cook for another minute or so.

Add rice vinegar, soy sauce, black pepper, salt and mix to combine.

Add the sugar and mix. The sauce will become thin when you add in the sugar, keep cooking till it becomes thick again, around 2-3 minutes.

Let the sauce cool completely and them store in a jar and refrigerate it. 

Enjoy the homemade schezwan sauce with your favorite snacks/burgers or put it on top of noodles or rice for a quick and delicious meal!

Schezwan Sauce

* How spicy this sauce would turn out would depend upon the type of red chilies that you use. I use the regular dried red chilies that I got from the Indian grocery store. You may mix it with some other less spicy chilies to tone down the spice levels.

* The sauce should stay good in the fridge for couple of weeks. Maybe longer too but I can’t exactly tell how long since it has never lasted that long in the fridge.

* You may also add little celery in this recipe. Saute it along with the onion if using.

* The 30 minute prep time is the time taken to soak the dried red chilies.

Homemade Schezwan Sauce

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 1 cup [around 250 ml]

Spicy Schezwan Sauce is a popular sauce in the Indo-Chinese cuisine. It's often used as a condiment or a part of Indo-Chinese recipes!
Ingredients
  • 22 dried red chili [22 grams], soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame oil
  • 7-8 large garlic cloves [25 grams], finely chopped
  • 1.5 inch ginger [20 grams], finely chopped
  • 1 small white onion (60 grams), finely chopped
  • ½ cup water + 2 tablespoons to grind the soaked red chilies
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar or use white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
Instructions
  1. Soak dried red chilies in warm water for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain the water and grind the chilies to a smooth paste using 2-3 tablespoons water. You may also use the water in which you had soaked the chilies for grinding. Set aside.
  3. Heat sesame oil in a skillet on medium heat.
  4. Once the oil is hot, add chopped garlic and ginger and saute till the raw smell goes away. You don't want to brown them, so keep that in mind.
  5. Then add chopped onion and saute till translucent. Again don't brown them.
  6. Stir in the prepared red chili paste and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Now add ½ cup water and tomato paste. Stir and cook for another minute or so.
  8. Add rice vinegar, soy sauce, black pepper, salt and mix to combine.
  9. Add the sugar and mix. The sauce will become thin when you add in the sugar, keep cooking till it becomes thick again, around 2-3 minutes.
  10. Let the sauce cool completely and them store in a jar and refrigerate it.

Homemade Schezwan Sauce

5 thoughts on “Homemade Schezwan Sauce

  1. You know, I’ve never tried a deep-fried candy bar. They just don’t call to me. But that’s pretty mild compared to some of the crazy deep fried fair dishes I’ve heard of. For starters, the Seattle Mariners sold fried grasshoppers as a snack at their games this year. Uh, no thank you. 🙂 I didn’t realize you could make schezwan sauce at home. It makes sense, though…and now I want to give it a shot. Thanks for the idea and recipe, Manali!

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