McDonald’s Loves the Szechuan Sauce Drama. Here’s How You Can Avoid it

corporate signage hangs at a McDonald's restaurant in downtown Pittsburgh
Keith Srakocic/AP Photo

People love McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce.

So much so that when restaurants ran out in 2017, it led to riots. Yes, seriously. McDonald’s even released a series of podcasts about the whole incident. It’s good entertainment if you have a few minutes of downtime.

After what I can only imagine has been months of sadness and frustration, as these rabid fans of the sauce have had to go without since Oct. 8, 2017, McDonald’s is bringing it back. When?

Today. Monday, February 26.

While Ronald, Grimace and the gang promise not to run out this time — they will release 20 million packets of Szechuan Sauce this year — it’s best to be prepared. Why wait with bated breath for McDonald’s to release it each year when you can just make your own (possibly better) version at home?

How to Make Your Own Mulan Szechuan Sauce

For a few months, Reddit users have been upvoting a fan’s tribute recipe for McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce, which he developed somewhere between the fast-food giant’s sauce promotion for “Mulan” and its recent resurgence.

Here’s what it takes, according to user Xeropoint:

  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Soy sauce (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons plum sake (optional)
  • 3 ½ tablespoons Sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Red pepper flakes (to taste)

How much does that all cost?

  • Garlic cloves: $1.50
  • Balsamic vinegar: $2.68
  • Soy sauce: $1.44
  • Sriracha: $2.12
  • Brown sugar: $1.36
  • Red pepper flakes: $1.40
  • Plum sake (optional): $7.99

Total cost: $10.50 to $18.49

OK, so it’s not a money saver if you’re starting from scratch. But what would you rather do? Go to McDonald’s with your family, spend about as much to only get a few packets of sauce and be done with it? Or make this tribute sauce at home, where you can enjoy it again and again?

No, seriously, don’t make me solve your time versus money questions. I can’t take the pressure. It’s your sauce, people. Get it however you can get it.

Lisa Rowan is a senior writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder.

Tyler Omoth is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.