Schezwan Sauce

a bowl with schezwan sauce with a few red chilies on the side against a blue backdrop

Schezwan sauce is one of the popular condiments coming from the land of Sichuan in China. Sichuan Cuisine is known for its characterstic bold garlicky and chili flavors. This sauce is made primarly of those 2 ingredients. It is also called as Sichuan or Szechuan sauce. It is very popularly used in Indo-Chinese recipes and is now available pre-made in stores as well.

Where to use Schezwan Sauce?

  • Sichuan sauce is usually used in Sichuan Cuisine and lots of Indo-Chinese recipes like Schezwan Chicken.
  • You can mix it with regular ketchup to get chili garlic ketchup (which is very popular back in Pakistan)
  • You can mix it with Mayo to give you a nice dip.
  • Use it for chicken and fish marinations.
  • Add a tablespoon of Schezwan sauce onto your pasta sauce to add a bold flavor.
  • You can use it directly as a spicy condiment with dumplings or pakoras.

The characteristic feature of Sichuan sauce are the Sichuan peppercorns. They are small and red in color and I usually use about 8 to 10 of them in this sauce. But I didn’t have any at hand when I made this batch. So I skipped it. It has a nice tongue tickling sensation which sets is apart. So I would definitely recommend you to get some. But like you can see, you can still make a kickass Schezwan sauce without it

Making the Schezwan Sauce

Essentially Schezwan sauce is just garlic, oil and chilies. And I believe that’s how it should be. Adding too many extra sauces and spices balances out the sauce and its unique tangy spicy flavor. It is after all a condiment, and condiments aren’t balanced, they are supposed to be loud and bold so that when used in recipes they can add that effect to our dish.

Step 1: Chili Selection

You can use whole round chilies or the dried long ones. Both will give you similar result. The other concern while selecting chilies, are its seeds.

If you want a smooth sauce, you can remove the seeds from the chilies. I personally don’t mind the seeds, and in fact, I think it brings character to the sauce. But the seeds also add to the spiciness of the sauce. You CAN remove the seeds if you want to reduce the overall heat of the sauce.

Step 2: Making the chili paste

Soak the selected red chilies in hot boiling water and cover them. Let them soak until the water comes down to room temperature.

red chilies soaked in hot water in a blue bowl

Discard the water and blend the chilies in a food processor with a little bit of water to give you a smooth paste with seed bits in it.

DISCLAIMER: Please! I beg you! Do not, I repeat, DO NOT touch your eyes or face during this process. 🙁 Don’t ask.

red chili paste in a plastic cup

Step 3: Making the sauce.

To make the sauce, put oil in a pan or a wok. You can use Chili oil too if you want to boost the chili flavor.

black wok with oil in it

So Schezwan sauce, in general, has a lot of garlic in it. I’ve added 1 whole garlic pod for this recipe. They are finely chopped.

Tip: When you finely chop the garlic, make sure they are as even as possible, so that they brown evenly.

Wait until all the garlic turns a nice golden brown color. Then add your chili paste in.

garlic and red chili paste in oil in a black wok

Cook it with a little bit of water to get the rawness out of the chilies. Add a little bit of salt for seasoning. I’ve also added a little bit of brown sugar and vinegar in the mix to act as preservatives.

schezwan sauce ready in a black wok

Cook for 2 to 3 mins and turn off the flame. Cover the sauce and let it cool down. Once it cools down, you can fill it up in an airtight jar and refrigerate.

side view of red chili paste in a bowl

How long can it last?

The sauce has a couple of preservatives in it. So if kept at a stable temperature in the fridge, it can survive for 2 to 3 months. If you freeze the sauce, it can survive indefinitely.

schezwan sauce in a bowl

Shezwan Sauce

An Indo-Chinese spicy dried red chili condiment.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin
Course: Dips & Condiments
Cuisine: Chinese/Indo Chinese
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
Calories: 397kcal
Author: Wajiha


  • 1 cup of whole dried red chilies
  • 1 whole garlic pod peeled and all the cloves finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp ketchup


  • Soak whole red chilies in boiling hot water. Let it sit till the water comes down to room temperature.
  • Grind the red chilies in food process to make a paste. (with roughly 1/4 cup of water)
  • In a pan, add oil and chopped garlic at medium flame.
  • When the garlic turns golden brown, add the chili paste and water.
  • Add all the other ingredients and let it cook for 2 to 3 mins.
  • Turn of the flame and fill it up in a jar.
  • Use in recipes as a condiment or as marinades.


This condiment is too spicy to be used as a dip on its own. You can mix it with mayo or ketchup to create spicy dips.


Serving: 1gCalories: 397kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 4gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 25gSodium: 2000mgFiber: 3gSugar: 26g

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