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Food & Cuisine in Sichuan

Sichuan cuisine,or Szechuan cuisine, is one of mainly eight famous Chinese cuisines (Sichuan Cuisine, Hunan Cuisine, Shandong Cuisine, Jiangsu Cuisine, Zhejiang Cuisine, Cantonese Cuisine, Fujian Cuisine and Anhui Cuisine). As the name implies, it originates from southwestern China’sSichuan province which has been known as the land of plenty since ancient times. Sichuan cuisine is noted for its bold flavor of tingling, pungent and spicy resulting from liberal use of garlicchili peppers, and the unique flavor of the Sichuan pepper.

The cuisine is classified into 5 different kinds: sumptuous banquet, ordinary banquet, popularized food, household-style food, and food snacks. Each type of the cuisine shows the rich endowment of nature, the intelligence and hard-working of the local people as well as the exquisite cooking skills of the chefs. Sichuan cuisine employs a variety of cooking methods, such as stir-frying, roasting, steaming, braising etc. However, a complete list would include more than 20 distinct techniques.

Sichuan cuisine is well known for cooking fish. Beef is somewhat more common in Sichuan cuisine than elsewhere in China. Rabbit meat is also much more popular than it is in other Chinese cuisines. Sichuan cuisines not only chose a variety of condiments, but also pay particular attention to seasoning skills.

Here are some typical Sichuan cuisines for recommendation.

Kung Pao Chicken

This is a spicy stir-fry dish made with chickenpeanutsvegetables, and Sichuan peppercorns which is the most important component of the dish. It is these peppercorns that give this authentic dish distinctive numbing flavor.

Mapo Tofu (Mapo Doufu)

It is a combination of tofu (bean curd) set in a spicy bean sauce, and often cooked with fermented black bean and minced meat, usually pork or beef.

Twice Cooked Pork (Hui Guo Rou)

Pork is first boiled with spices, such as slices of ginger, cloves, star anise, jujubes and salt, and then stir-fried in oil, usually along with some vegetables like napa cabbage, bell peppers or scallions.

Fuqi Fei Pian (Husband and Wife Lung Slices)

This dish is served cold or at room temperature, which is made of thinly sliced beef and beef offal seasoned with chili oil.

Sichuan Hot Pot

The broth of Sichuan Hot Pot is flavorful and the soup is packed with chili peppers and other pungent herbs and spices. Slices of beef tripe, chicken breast, goose intestines, soy bean sprouts, spring onion, mushrooms, sea cucumber and duck are the usual meats used in the dish.

Fish Flavored Pork Slices

This dish is flavored with a tangy and spicy stir fry of pork, water chestnut, tree ears and other fragrant ingredients.

Bangbang Chicken

This popular dish combines sweet, sour and salty together, also known as Strange Flavor Chicken. The chicken is mixed with the sesame paste, chili oil, sugar, soy sauce, chicken powder, ground peppercorns and sesame oil after poaching in the boiling water.

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