Last round, my efforts to recreate the fabled McDonald's Szechuan Sauce were wild, flailing shots in the dark, pathetic and meager attempts to recreate a long-lost condiment out of scanty information and back-alley sources. But now, thanks to a very kind man named David Wasman, I have procured a sample of the genuine article. Follow along this week as we make a rendition of Szechuan Sauce near-identical to the Mulan-inspired goop from 1998. And make some wannabe Chicken McNuggets while we're at it.



For Sauce:

  • ½  cup water
  • ½  cup white vinegar
  • ½  cup white sugar
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp sesame seed oil
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ yeast extract (marmite)
  • ¼ dextrose (corn syrup)
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum

For Chicken Nuggets:

  • 2 chicken breast skins
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1 pound ground chicken

For Batter and Oil:

  • 1 cup white flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup corn flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vodka
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Canola oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Beef fat tallow


For Sauce:

  1. Combine water, vinegar, sesame seed oil, garlic powder, onion powder, garlic powder, ground ginger, marmite, corn syrup and ground pepper in a medium sized bowl and transfer to a medium sauce pan.
  2. Remove 1/4 cup of sauce and add cornstarch. Remove another 1/4 cup and add the xanthan gum. Add both back into the mixture, straining the xanthan gum mixture for lumps and whisk over medium heat until it forms a sauce like goo. Strain, cover and let it cool down.

For Chicken McNuggets:

  1. Put two chicken breast skins in the freezer to firm for thirty minutes. Process in a food processor while still cold until they become a fine paste.
  2. Place paste in bowl and add the pound of ground chicken, garlic powder, onion powder, white pepper, kosher salt and white sugar. Beat together well until they turn into a smooth paste.
  3. Pour onto parchment-lined baking sheet and smooth out until it’s a quarter inch thick. To make sure it's uniform, spray a parchment-lined cutting board with cooking spray and press down on the meat to form a flat chicken patty. Place in the freezer to firm up.
  4. Use nugget cutouts to form nuggets, place on an oiled sheet of parchment paper and put them in the freezer to firm until ready to fry.
  5. Combine vegetable oil, canola oil and beef fat tallow in frying pan and heat to 350°F.
  6. Combine white flour, cornstarch, corn flour and black pepper in medium bowl. Add water, vodka and the egg and stir until smooth
  7. Coat nuggets in batter and fry for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown and sprinkle with salt as soon as they come out of the fryer.

For Chicken Nugget Cookie Cutters:

You will need:

  • 18”x13” Disposable aluminum baking sheet
  • Scissors
  • Gloves (very important)
  • Super glue
  1. Cut four, 3-inch wide, 12-inch long strips out of the baking sheet.
  2. Fold in half, in the long direction, leaving a little lip that can be folded over so that there are no razor sharp edges exposed.
  3. Form strips into the four Chicken McNugget shapes: The bell, the ball, the bone, and the boot.
  4. Seal closed with super glue.