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Szechuan Sauce - Sprout Magazine


  • 20 dried chillies
  • 2 shallots / 1 onion
  • 15 cloves of garlic
  • 3 cm piece of ginger
  • 5 szechuan peppercorns, coarsely ground
  • vegetable oil or sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp of rice vinegar
  • ½ tbsp of finely chopped celery (optional)
  • ½ tsp soy sauce
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tsp cane sugar

Szechuan dip.

April 1, 2016

Fiery sauce to accompany your momos or other Asian snacks.

How to make it.

  1. Soak your chillies for at least 1 hr. Strain them, then use a food processor to blend them into a paste – coarse or smooth, whatever you prefer. Add some water is necessary.
  2. Chop the shallots, garlic and ginger. Puree into a fine paste, adding some oil If necessary.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and add the onion/garlic/ginger puree. Sauté till the smell of raw onions and ginger disappears – make sure not to brown them.
  4. Add the chilli paste and ground szehuan peppers and sauté for couple minutes more. Then add half a cup of water, stir and leave to simmer for about 2 minutes.
  5. Add rice vinegar, celery, soy sauce, sugar and salt, then leave to simmer for 5 more minutes. Check the taste and add more sugar/salt/vinegar/soy sauce to suit your personal taste.
  6. Poor into a glass jar, close it off and leave to cool. Store in the fridge.


Szechuan peppercorns are commonly used in Tibet, Nepal, India and China. Rather than adding spice to your dish they provide a citruslike acidity and have a unique numbing effect on your tongue. This way, besides flavour, they add a specific sensation to the dishes in which they are used.

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