A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Schezwan Sauce

by Ella

Schezwan sauce, hailing from the Sichuan province of China, is a fiery and flavorful condiment that has gained immense popularity worldwide. Its bold and spicy taste, combined with the subtle undertones of umami and sweetness, makes it an excellent accompaniment for various dishes. Though readily available in stores, crafting your own homemade Schezwan sauce elevates the culinary experience and allows you to customize the heat and flavor profile to suit your preferences. In this article, we will delve into the secrets of creating an authentic Schezwan sauce, unlocking its complex ingredients and guiding you through the step-by-step process.

How To Make Schezwan Sauce

Schezwan sauce, hailing from the Sichuan province of China, is a fiery and flavorful condiment that has gained immense popularity worldwide.
Prep Time20 minutes
Active Time1 hour
Course: Side Dish
Yield: 4
Cost: $4


  • 1 Food Processor or Blender
  • 1 Mortar and Pestle or Spice Grinder To grind the Sichuan peppercorns into a fine powder, a mortar and pestle or an electric spice grinder will be necessary.
  • 1 Wok or Deep-Bottomed Pan
  • 1 Stirring Spoon or Spatula
  • 2 Glass Jars Sterilized glass jars with airtight lids are perfect for storing the finished Schezwan sauce


  • 1 tbsp Sichuan Peppercorns Toasting them before use enhances their aroma and flavor.
  • some Garlic
  • some Ginger
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 20-25 dried red chilies (Thai red chilies and Kashmiri chilies)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • some Water (for soaking the chilies)
  • some Salt


  • Begin by deseeding the dried red chilies and soaking them in hot water for about 20 minutes until they become soft. Drain the water and set them aside. Next, dry roast the Sichuan peppercorns in a pan until fragrant, then grind them into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.
  • In a food processor, combine the soaked red chilies, garlic cloves, and ginger. Blend them into a smooth paste. If necessary, add a little water to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Heat a wok or deep-bottomed pan over medium heat and add a few tablespoons of oil. Once hot, add the blended chili paste and sauté it until the oil starts to separate from the mixture. This indicates that the base is cooked.
  • Lower the heat and stir in the ground Sichuan peppercorns, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar. Continue cooking, allowing the flavors to meld together. Adjust the seasoning to balance the spiciness, saltiness, and sweetness according to your preference.
  • Finally, drizzle a few drops of toasted sesame oil over the sauce and stir it in. The sesame oil enhances the aroma and adds a delightful nutty undertone.
  • Allow the sauce to cool completely before transferring it to a sterilized glass jar. Store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, and its flavors will continue to mature over time.

What can Schezwan sauce be eaten with?

Schezwan sauce is an incredibly versatile condiment that can be paired with a wide range of dishes to add a bold and spicy flavor. Its fiery and savory profile makes it a popular choice in various cuisines. Here are some delicious ways to enjoy Schezwan sauce:


1. Stir-Fries: Use Schezwan sauce as a stir-fry sauce to elevate your vegetable, chicken, beef, or tofu stir-fries. It adds a burst of heat and depth to the dish.


2. Noodles: Toss Schezwan sauce with cooked noodles, such as lo mein or chow mein, for a quick and flavorful noodle dish. Top with some vegetables, protein of your choice, and a sprinkle of green onions for a complete meal.


3. Fried Rice: Add Schezwan sauce to your fried rice to give it a spicy and zesty twist. Combine it with vegetables, eggs, and your preferred protein for a satisfying meal.


4. Dumplings and Momos: Serve Schezwan sauce as a dipping sauce for dumplings, potstickers, or momos. Its spicy kick complements the dumplings’ filling and enhances the overall taste.

5. Spring Rolls: Schezwan sauce is an excellent accompaniment for spring rolls, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian varieties. Dip the rolls in the sauce for an explosion of flavors.

6. Grilled Meats: Use Schezwan sauce as a marinade or glaze for grilled chicken, pork, or seafood. The spicy sauce pairs well with the smoky flavors from the grill.

7. Sandwiches and Wraps: Add a dollop of Schezwan sauce to sandwiches or wraps for an extra kick of flavor. It works well with both meat and vegetable-based fillings.

8. Tofu and Paneer: Schezwan sauce complements tofu and paneer dishes wonderfully. Whether you’re making a curry or a sauté, the sauce adds a delicious twist.

9. Vegetable Sauté: Sauté mixed vegetables in Schezwan sauce for a quick and flavorful side dish. It’s an excellent way to turn simple veggies into a tasty treat.

10. Pizza: As a unique pizza sauce, Schezwan sauce brings a spicy and tangy element to the pizza toppings. Combine it with your favorite vegetables and cheese for a fusion delight.

11. Noodle Soups: Use Schezwan sauce to spice up noodle soups like ramen or hot and sour soup. The intense flavor profile enhances the overall taste of the soup.

12. Snacks and Appetizers: Use Schezwan sauce as a condiment for various snacks like pakoras, samosas, or French fries, for an exciting twist.

Remember that Schezwan sauce packs a lot of heat, so adjust the amount according to your spice tolerance. Feel free to get creative with your dishes and explore new ways to incorporate this flavorful sauce into your meals.

Tangy Tomato Schezwan Sauce:

Tangy Tomato Schezwan Sauce, a delightful variation of the traditional Schezwan sauce, combines the fiery heat of dried red chilies with the tanginess of ripe tomatoes. This fusion of flavors adds a zesty kick to your dishes, making it a favorite condiment for those who crave an extra burst of excitement in their meals.

The Tangy Tomato Schezwan Sauce pairs wonderfully with a variety of dishes. Use it as a dipping sauce for dumplings, spring rolls, and momos. Incorporate it into your stir-fries, noodles, and fried rice for an extra kick. It also complements grilled meats and adds a unique twist to sandwiches and wraps.

How long is the shelf life of Schezwan sauce?

The shelf life of Schezwan sauce depends on how it is stored and the ingredients used in the recipe. Generally, homemade Schezwan sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 to 3 weeks.

If you wish to extend the shelf life of Schezwan sauce beyond a few weeks, you can freeze it. Freezing can prolong the sauce’s freshness for up to 3 to 6 months. Divide the sauce into smaller portions, place them in airtight containers or freezer bags, and remove any excess air before sealing. Thaw the frozen sauce in the refrigerator before using.


The allure of Schezwan sauce lies in its tantalizing blend of spices and flavors. The art of creating this iconic condiment at home not only allows you to control the level of spiciness but also grants you the satisfaction of crafting a versatile and authentic sauce. As you embark on your Schezwan sauce-making journey, be prepared to embark on a flavorful adventure that will undoubtedly elevate your culinary prowess and impress your guests with each fiery, delectable bite.



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