J and I love Sichuan food, and the one thing we are most excited about with Sichuan food is that distinct aroma of the Sichuan spiced soy sauce. For years (I kid you not!), we’ve been experimenting with different recipes of the spiced soy sauce we find online, and have finally figured out a decently good one. There are so many crappy recipes out there, especially for English speakers. One that is especially bad, and surprisingly so, is Fuschia Dunlop’s recipe in her book Land of Plenty. That one was so bad that I just had to mention it here, just in case other non-Chinese reading folks were looking to try that recipe.
Anyway, here’s my recipe. There are ingredients that can only be found in Chinese herbal shops, so do head there to search for stuff if you can’t find it in your regular grocer. Also, I took pictures before I added everything and somehow forgot to take more after adding the non-dry ingredients. Oops!
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups light Chinese soy sauce (FYI, Kikoman soy sauce is Japanese, and tastes different. Don’t use this! Buy Pearl River Bridge brand if you can find it.)
- 5 slices ginger
- 2 slices galangal (optional)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2-3 sticks cinnamon (better if you can find Chinese cinnamon)
- 2 slices Chinese liquorice
- 1 tablespoon fennel seed
- 2-4 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns (depending on how spicy you want it)
- 2 star anise seeds
- 1 bunch of green onions (tied)
- 1 bunch green onions
- 1-2 teaspoons dried orange peel (optional)
Pour everything into a pot. You may want to tie up the dry spices in a spice strainer if you have one. I don’t.
Bring the contents of a pot to a boil, then let simmer for about 20 minutes.
Strain and store the soy sauce in the fridge.