The Internet was abuzz this week when Cartoon Network decided to forego it’s usual April Fools Day shenanigans and randomly drop a new episode of Rick and Morty (even though the new season won’t air until this summer). Fans were thrilled to be treated to an unexpected episode, but one food item mentioned on the show was trending on social media: McDonald’s Mulan Szechuan Sauce.
If you’re unfamiliar with this sweet elixir, it was made as a promotion for the Disney movie Mulan back in 1998. Due to its reference in the show, fans took to various forms of social media to ask the burger chain to bring back the spicy sauce. It may seem like this request has fallen on deaf ears because McDonald’s hasn’t decided to rerelease it upon the eager masses (or have they?). But, someone is listening.
Your favorite YouTube chef is on the case. In his most recent how-to video Andrew Rea (AKA Binging With Babish) decided to make his own version of the beloved dipping sauce. He even termed it “an internet emergency.” Fans of the original sauce should note that Rea doesn’t actually have any idea what the sauce tasted like. He is merely guessing as to what it might taste like based on what he’s been able to gather.
Babish begins the process by dry roasting a few dry, red Chinese chilies (the basis for many actual Szechuan sauces found in China). Then, he adds boiling water to the pan to let the chilies steep for thirty minutes to really bring out their spicy notes. He follows this by toasting some peppercorns before grinding them up. Then the peppers (with the addition of fresh ginger) get pureed. He adds the pureed chili paste to a pan and adds a whole mess of other ingredients, including: sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, the previously ground Szechuan peppercorns, and brown sugar to cut the heat a little.
But, he didn’t stop there. He made an alternate version that he found on Reddit before explain his theory on how McDonald’s actually made the sauce. “two parts sweet and sour sauce to one part tangy barbecue sauce.” Literally just dump them into a bowl and mix them up. This second attempt is the easiest way to recreate the sauce until Mickey D’s decides to give in to the pleas of Rick and Morty fans. Hopefully we won’t have to wait for the live action Mulan film.