In 1998, McDonald's did a promotional campaign for Disney's Mulan that included toys in Happy Meals, and more importantly, Szechuan sauce for Chicken McNuggets.
In the Rick and Morty season three premiere episode, "The Rickshank Rickdemption," Rick visits a McDonald's in his memory to acquire aforementioned dipping sauce.
This sparked a lot of fond Szechuan sauce memories, and even led to a petition demanding that it be brought back.
McDonald's actually sent the show's co-creator (and the voice of Rick and Morty) some Szechuan sauce from "Dimension C-1998M," a place where it's always 1998.
McDonald's gave away a few more jugs of Szechuan sauce on Twitter, but the rest of us were left SOL.
OR WERE WE?! It turns out, Reddit user Xeropoint created a copycat recipe and generously shared it with the masses.
I was curious to give it a shot and see if I could create a variation of the long-lost Szechuan magnificence. I started by heating the minced garlic in a skillet.
Then, I added balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, Sriracha, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and ginger — the only ingredient I chose to skip was the optional plum sake!
AND VOILA, I had some homemade Szechuan sauce!
I was surprised by how legitimate it looked! I love garlic so I used a little more than the recipe called for, but the consistency was still perfect for a dipping sauce. I went to McDonald's to grab some McNuggets and McAte 'em all!
This was SO, SO, SO good! I can't emphasize enough how worth it it was to take a small amount of time preparing a sauce that enhances your McNuggets exponentially. Keep in mind, this recipe is a "tribute" to actual Szechuan sauce, so you can play with the ingredients and add more or less of particular things to get the taste you're seeking.
I recommend trying it out as it's listed first, then tinkering accordingly, but whatever combination you decide on, I promise you won't regret it!