Photos by Claire Lower.
Rick and Morty is back and, thanks to the teaser premier that aired back in April, so is an insane amount of enthusiasm for “Szechuan Sauce,” a limited edition nugget sauce that was released to help promote the 1998 Disney film Mulan.
Sadly, according to McDonald’s Twitter account, the last three remaining gallons of the stuff have been given away.
That’s okay though, because Reddit user Xeropoint developed a copycat—well, near copycat—recipe with his father many moons ago, and it’s good. Here’s the full recipe in all of its (unedited) glory.
- Mince 6 cloves of Garlic and sweat (heat them up in a skillet)
- add 4 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- add soy sauce to taste (DO NOT USE LOW SODIUM SAUCE)
- add 2 tablespoon Plum Sake (Drink additional 3 oz Plum Sake)
- Reduce sauce slightly (Drink additional 1.5 oz Plum Sake)
- 3 1/2 tablespoons cock sauce (Sriracha)
- add 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- Red pepper flakes to taste
- Minced Ginger to taste
- Consume remaining Plum Sake
Simmer that shit for a solid 5 minutes, stirring pretty much constantly. The brown sugar helps it keep the proper consistency, so it’s important to use. Play around with the recipe to your taste. Might want more or less balsamic vinegar. Might want more or more Plum Sake. I’d definitely recommend you make it several times to figure out your own flavor.
Tasting is believing, so I ordered myself ten pieces of Chicken McNuggets and got to saucing. “To taste” is kind of vague, but I added two tablespoons of soy sauce, two healthy pinches of red pepper flakes, and an inch-long knob of ginger.
Once the sauce had simmered down into a syrupy-looking, deliciously dark liquid, I poured it into a little bowl and took a taste. It was very good. It was sweet, salty, and tangy, with a good bit of heat. It did not, however seem like a sauce McDonald’s would have put out, as it tasted too much like food.
To be very clear: I love McDonald’s, but they produce unique items with unique flavors that do not occur anywhere outside of their franchises, and this sauce simply does not belong in that universe. So though I love the sauce created by Xeropoint and his father, I didn’t feel that it quite “matched” the McNugget aesthetic. Taking a cue from this video from Binging with Babish, I mixed in a tub each of McDonald’s two most iconic nugget sauces: Sweet & Sour and BBQ. (I also added a little more soy and sriracha).
Now I had a sauce that tasted like it belonged under the golden arches. It was still sweet, sour, salty, and spicy, but everything had been muted a bit by all the corn syrup, which made it a much better mate for the bland meat product that is the McNugget.
So that’s how you make a Szechuan sauce that will make your McNuggets sing. If, however, you are eating chicken that is not in the form of a nugget, I recommend Xeropoint’s original recipe. It’s freaking delicious.