What is Szechuan?
Szechuan is a spicy marinade / sauce made with chilli, garlic and ginger and oil that originated from the Sichuan province of China.
Breakdown of ingredients
Sesame oil- Using sesame oil gives a beautiful nutty undercurrent to the sauce.
Birdseye chilli- This isn’t a must if you don’t like heat, simply swap for 1/2 tsp chilli flakes. I’ve recommended just 1 small dried birdseye chilli.
Light brown sugar- Adding sugar to a marinade or sauce like this is a must. The sugar adds a beautiful sweetness that compliments the garlic and chilli. It also helps preserve the sauce when stored.
Garlic- A crucial ingredient in this recipe is the garlic. The garlic and chilli combination is perfect together and gives such a strong flavour to whatever you’re marinading (perfect for tofu).
Fresh ginger- Much like the garlic, grating in fresh ginger will add a lovely fragrant element to this recipe.
Tamari or soy- This ingredient adds a bit of umami and saltiness to the recipe. You can swap tamari for soy sauce if preferred.
Other ways you can use this recipe:
I have a handful of recipes that I incorperate this szechuan sauce into. It’s so versatile and takes no time to make so it’s ideal when you’re in a hurry.
Szechuan Fried Gyozas- Frying gyozas in the szechuan gives a beautiful spicy crispy base. I also serve this in a side dish as a dipping sauce
Quick Stir Fry- Even just tossing crunchy veg in a pan with this sauce makes a delicious 10 minute stir fry for a week night meal.
Chilli & noodle soup – Possibly one of my all time favourite 15 minute meals is my Chilli and noodle gyoza soup recipe which I’ve linked at the bottom of this page. It’s so full of flavour and slightly less spicy as there’s 700ml of water added to the dish.
Example of the Szechuan sauce to fry gyozas and add to noodle soup.
Homemade Szechuan Sauce
A delicious homemade Szechuan sauce using cupboard ingredients to make a delicious marinade. Made from chillies, ginger and sesame oil this will add a punch of flavour to your recipe
- ¼ tsp black ground peppercorns even better if you have szechuan peppercorns
- 1 small dried birdseye chilli
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 3 cm piece of fresh ginger grated
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar / coconut sugar
- 1 ½ tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- ½ tsp rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 4-5 tbsp water
- If coating over tofu add 1 tbsp corn flour to thicken
Simply add all of these ingredients to a bowl and whisk together then transfer into a sterilised jar / airtight container *will store up to 2 weeks in the fridge*
When ready to marinade simply coat the tofu / vegetables in the szechuan sauce and leave for a minimum of 20 minutes - it's better if marinated for a full 24 hours.
If you like this recipe why not try my chilli and gyoza noodle soup here.
This Gyoza Chilli Noodle Soup has to be one of my favourite recipes so far – mostly because it takes only 15 minutes to create with minimal fuss. Using Yukata vegan friendly gyozas, this is perfect if you’re cooking for friends too.
Breakdown of Ingredients
Sesame Oil- You can use toasted or regular sesame oil for this dish. It really helps create a beautiful nutty undertone in this recipe
Vegetable Stock – This can be made from boiling water and a good quality stock cube, keeping costs down to a minimal
Tamari – You may have noticed that most of my recipes include tamari, mostly because it’s one of my favourite ingredients. Tamari is a gluten free version of soy sauce so this dish can be easily made GF. Swap out the noodles for rice noodles instead to make this gluten free.
Gyozas – These are from the brand yukata. The quality is great and so far have become a staple in the freezer.
Non Stick Pan- A good quality non stick pan such as Circulon really helps when frying the vetetables. You will need a pan that has a lid for this dish to help steam the gyozas.
Chopsticks – Have friends coming over for dinner? Chopsticks will add a little more authenticity to this noodle dish, just don’t forget a spoon / ladle to drink that delicious soup with it.
Small Sharp Knife- Having a small sharp knife to finely chop the ginger, chilli and garlic is always a handy tool to have in your kitchen.
If you give this recipe a go please be sure to tag Lucy and Lentils over on instagram!
Gyoza Chilli Noodle Soup
Crispy gyozas in a 15 minute homemade chilli noodle soup. Vegan and really easy to create.
- 3 spring onions finely chopped (leave a few to top at the end)
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 800 ml vegetable stock made with boiling water and stock cube
- 3 cloves garlic minced / finely chopped
- 1 thumb sized piece fresh ginger grated / minced
- 1 large red chilli substitute for 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 100 g noodles rice, ribbon or even udon will work
- 5 tenderstem
- 6 gyozas I used yukata vegan gyozas
- 1 tsp sesame seeds to top, optional
In a small bowl, combine the minced garlic, grated ginger, tamari, sesame oil, brown sugar (and chilli flakes if you're using instead of fresh) and mix whisk together
Heat a deep pan then add the finely chopped spring onions along with the dressing and fry for around 3 minutes before adding the vegetable stock
In a separate pan, add a drizzle of sesame oil and fry the gyozas on a high heat for around 3-4 minutes until crispy, then pop a lid over the top and steam for around 3-4 minutes
For the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the rice noodles and tenderstem to the pan with the stock, pop a lid over and leave for gently steam for around 4-5 minutes
Serve by adding the soup and noodles to a bowl, top with the gyozas and tenderstem and garnish with any additional spring onions, chilli flakes and a splash of tamari (optional)
If you're frying the gyozas, simply heat another pan with a drizzle of sesame oil, fry on a high heat until the base has browned, then place a lid over the top to steam for a further 2-3 minutes until done. Then add to the soup just before serving.
If you like this recipe, why not try my delicious home made vegan chilli peanut ramen linked just here.