A promotion for the 1998 Disney film Mulan, this McNugget Szechuan sauce was a delectable concoction only available for a limited time around the movie’s release. Some people have become obsessed with the sauce, and it really drives their whole character arc, as it were.
If you watched the first episode of Rick and Morty season 3, this is the original ad for the Szechuan dipping sauce, Rick was talking about.
This all got started when Rick and Morty‘s Season 3 premiere was released unexpectedly on April Fool’s. The end of the episode featured Rick telling Morty that he was doing everything pretty much because he wanted to taste that Szechuan sauce again.
And I’ll go and I’ll find some more of that Mulan Szechuan teriyaki dipping sauce Morty, because that’s what this is all about, Morty, that’s my one-armed man. I’m not driven by avenging my dead family, Morty, that was fake. I’m driven by finding that McNugget sauce. I want that Mulan McNugget sauce, Morty, that’s my series arc, Morty. If it takes nine seasons, I want my McNugget dipping sauce Szechuan sauce, Morty. That’s what’s going to take us all the way to the end, Morty. Season, nine more seasons Morty, nine more seasons until I get that dipping Szechuan sauce…”
you wanna get in on this?
— Rick (((and Morty))) (@RickandMorty) April 2, 2017
Fans thought that there was little chance McDonald’s would bring back that delicious sauce, since McDonald’s no longer works with Disney. Even though a live-action Mulan is premiering in 2018, the chances of a promotion seemed slim. Back in 2006, Disney’s promotional agreement with McDonald’s ended. Disney had a cross-promotional deal with McDonald’s that included having figurines from its movies in McDonald’s Happy Meals. But Disney ended that deal, stating that part of the reason was because the company wanted to distance itself from fast food and its link to childhood obesity.
Back in the day, the Szechuan sauce was loved by people who reviewed it. So all this hype may not just be “hype.” In this post from eight years ago, one person notes that the limited edition Mulan sauce was “godlike.”
Others, however, disagree. One Redditor said the Szechuan sauce was too “salty sweet.” And meanwhile, more suspicious people are wondering if this was a product placement that worked really, really well.
If you want to try it yourself, don’t go to ebay. Deceptive auctions look like they’re selling the dipping sauce, but they’re actually selling photos of the sauce. We have no idea if the bids on this one are real or fake, but one person named trainer_bob is selling a printed picture of the dipping sauce and has gotten 23 bids, reaching more than $12,000 total. He wrote, “…clearly a fun joke listing but if you win You’ll receive a printed picture of this nugget being dipped in that delicious … sauce!”
McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce Recipe
• 6 cloves garlic
• 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• Soy sauce (do not use low sodium)
• 2 tablespoons plum sake
• 3 1/2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons white sugar
• Red pepper flakes, to taste
• Minced garlic, to taste
1. Mince garlic and heat it up in a skillet.
2. Add balsamic vinegar and soy sauce, to taste. Add the plum sake and let it boil off. (Williams recommends drinking some of the leftover plum sake while cooking.)
3. Add remaining ingredients to skillet. Let simmer for five minutes, stirring constantly.