Spicy, garlicky and oh-so-delicious, Sichuan cuisine is one of the best things that has ever come from China. If you enjoy dishes that are packed with an astounding amount of zingy flavour and delectable vegetables and meats, then you are sure to find that Sichuan dishes are ideal for you. But how much do you really know about this incredible style of cooking? Sit back as we tell you all about it. Who knows? It might just become your new favourite style of cooking.
A unique approach in Sichuan
In Sichuan cuisine, breakfast foods may just be the star of the show. Most people in this region begin their days with a savoury feast. This includes a variety of rice porridge, cooked meat like beef or pork and steamed buns. This is usually washed down with a glass of soy milk. Due to the vast amount of food that is consumed at breakfast, lunch is typically kept light. This could include leftovers from breakfast or a few pancakes from the local street food joint. Finally, dinner in Sichuan cuisine rounds off a day filled with tasty treats. Eaten family-style, the main meal of the day consists of several meats, noodles and vegetable dishes. Each diner gets a bowl of rice and can pick up morsels of food from the communal dishes with their chopsticks.
Interesting facts about food in Sichuan
- The legendary Sichuan peppercorn is a variety of red berry that creates an interesting reaction with your tastebuds. When you eat foods that contain Sichuan pepper, your tastebuds may just go numb for a short period of time.
- Sichuan pepper was mixed with mud to build houses for the imperial concubines during the Han period.
- There are four sub-categories in this cuisine, including Buddhist vegetarian style, Chongqing, Zigong and Chengdu.
- The abundance of sumptuous foods and natural resources has led to the region being known as the “heavenly country” by locals.
The most popular Sichuan dishes
- Má pó dòufu: Many consider this dish to be one of the most important dishes from Sichuan. It is made by setting soft tofu cubes in a red bean, Sichuan pepper and ground pork sauce.
- Dàn Dàn miàn: This noodle dish is made with peanut butter, chilli paste and a sweet sesame paste. The noodles are typically topped with crispy vegetables and fried soybeans.
- Shuǐ zhǔ yú: The nearest English translation for this dish is Sichuan oil-boiled fish. This dish is typically made by poaching catfish in a fragrant broth. Once the fish is cooked, it is removed from the broth and coated in bubbling oil that has been infused with pepper, chillies and other spices.
- Fūqī fèi piàn: One of the most beloved offal dishes in the region, it is made by braising finely sliced beef tongue and stomach in black vinegar and Sichuan peppercorn sauce until the meat is tender and delicious.
The Sichuan dishes you don’t know about
- Liang ban ji: This is one of the most underrated dishes in Sichuan cuisine. Consisting of cold, sliced chicken in a spicy broth, it is an experience for all of your senses.
- Yu xiang qie zi: Also known as fish-fragrant eggplant, this is a vegetable dish that is heavily flavoured with chilli, pepper and fish sauce.
- Twice-cooked pork: This is succulent pork that is boiled and then deep-fried and served with fermented black beans and green garlic leaves.
Experience a taste of Sichuan
Visit Mala Hot Pot and treat your tastebuds to the experience of a lifetime with the boiled fish in chilli oil or Tianfu Restaurant where you can treat yourself to the cold steamed chicken in chilli sauce.