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Food & Cuisine in Sichuan

Sichuan cuisine is a style of Chinese cuisine originating from Sichuan province in southwestern China. It is the most widely served cuisine in China now which is famous for the hot and spicy flavor. The delicate use of pepper or chili is the major characteristic of Sichuan cuisine; other ingredients used are poultry, pork, beef, fish, vegetables and tofu.

History of Sichuan Cuisine

In fact, the original Sichuan cuisine was not the exact hot, sour, sweet and salty we taste nowadays; According to historical records, Sichuan people preferred pungent food, which made of ginger, mustards, chives or onions. So Sichuan dished served 200 years ago, were of mild flavor, some of them are still keep the original tastes today like crisp duck roasted with camphor and tea, sea cucumber with pungent flavor, minced chicken with hollyhock, boiled pork with mashed garlic, dry – fried carp, and boiled Chinese cabbage.

Hot pepper, the important flavoring in Sichuan cuisine, was introduced into China only 200-300 years ago from South America and then popular in the province. Sichuan has high humidity and rainy or overcast days, while hot peppers help reduce internal dampness. Pickles are also wildly used in Sichuan cuisine, which as an appealing smell, with crisp, tender, salty, sour and hot taste.

Sichuan food is famous for its many flavors, and almost every dish has its own unique taste. This is because many flavorings and seasonings are produced in Sichuan Province. These include soy sauce from Zhongba, cooking vinegar from baoning, special vinegar from Sanhui, fermented soy beans from Tongchuan, hot pickled mustard tubers from Fuling, chili sauce from Chongqing, thick, broad – bean sauce from Pixian, and well salt from Zigong.

Famous dishes in Sichuan Cuisine

Kung Pao Chicken (Gong Bao Ji Ding) – it is a beautiful dish made of cubed chicken, golden peanuts, and ruddy chilies; it is light sweet-and-sour sauce punched up with chilies and enough Sichuan peppercorn. The dish was a favorite repast of Ding Baozhen, a late Qing Dynasty governor of Sichuan, whose official title was gong bao.

Dan dan mian – is the vibrant street food in Chengdu. It is a noodle dish with savory topping of minced beef or pork cooked with picked vegetables, chilies, and Sichuan peppercorn sauced with a combination of sesame paste, soy sauce and chili oil.

Zhong shui jiao – its name referred to the inventor of this food, Zhongxiesen. It is pork filled dumplings with sweetened soy sauce and chili oil and crowned with a dab of garlic paste.

Hui guo rou – also called twice-cooked pork; it is referred to fatty pork – first boiled, then fired in o wok, with plenty of dou ban jiang, black beans and leeks. These thin twice cooked pork are the most beloved of Sichuan dishes.

Ma po tofu - This dish of wobbly cubes of silken tofu awash in a fiery ma la sauce, heightened by the addition of salty sweet black beans and ground beef, takes its name from its alleged inventor, a pock-marked granny whose name has been lost to history.