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Gluten-Free Yuxiang Zucchini ft. Pickled Chili Sauce

Author: Taylor Holliday | The Mala Market | Inspiration & Ingredients for Sichuan Cooking


  • 1 to 1¼ pounds zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger,minced
  • 2 tablespoons Sichuan pickled peppers*
  • 4 thin scallions, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese light soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari)
  • 1 tablespoon Baoning vinegar (or Zhenjiang vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons caiziyou (roasted rapeseed oil)*
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • ground Sichuan pepper to taste (optional)


  • Cut zucchini in half vertically and slice each half in half-moons about ¼-inch thick. Mince aromatics and pickled peppers. In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, corn starch and broth to make a sauce.
  • Heat wok over a high flame until wisps of heat start to rise. Add rapeseed oil and when smoking add the zucchini slices. Stir-fry about 2 minutes or just until the zucchini is starting to soften. Add salt and distribute throughout.
  • Push zucchini to the sides of the wok and add garlic, ginger, pickled peppers and scallions to the center well of the wok. Add a bit more oil if necessary to cook them briefly. Then mix the zucchini into the aromatics and stir-fry the whole lot for another couple minutes, taking care not to overcook.
  • Give sauce a stir to redistribute the corn starch, then add it to the wok and mix well. Continue cooking until the sauce has thickened and the zucchini is cooked through but still has a slight crunch. Plate and sprinkle Sichuan pepper powder over the top.


*Substitutions: See recipe on this blog for Sichuan pickled peppers or replace them with Pixian red-oil bean paste or, if you must, a non-Chinese pickled chili sauce such as sambal oelek (not sriracha). Replace Sichuan rapeseed oil with Chinese peanut oil or a neutral oil of your choice (no need to smoke off other oils).