The Sichuan province in China has become well known for the creative mix of tastes in their dishes, ranging from blazing hot, to sweet and sour, to savory and nutty. In fact, every dish has hundreds of different combinations of ingredients to produce a wide variety of flavor mixes. Here are five must-try Sichuanese dishes that are sure to excite your guestsí palates.
One simple to make, yet very elegant dish, is Liang Ban Ji, or cold chicken in a spicy sauce. If you visit the province and order this dish in several different restaurants, itíll become apparent very quickly that there are many different variations of this dish, each with its own unique flavor. The chicken is usually chopped, and served with a Sichuan pepper sauce. Some restaurants serve the meal with sliced scallions and roasted peanuts added.
Mapo Dafu is a tofu dish that your vegan guests are certain to enjoy. The bold flavors are good enough that even those picky eaters may start to look at eating tofu in a new way. This is another spicy dish, made with Sichuan peppers and Sichuan chili beans.
Twice-cooked pork, called Hui Guo Rou, is a favorite among visitors to the province, and is a staple among the inhabitants. It is made by boiling the pork, then slicing and frying it. It is a very fragrant dish, a bit milder than the first two mentioned, that is made with a Sichuan chili sauce and served over white rice.
The eggplant lovers among you will be excited by the savory, Yu Xiang Qie Zi. The sauce, a fragrant blend of red pickled chilies, garlic, ginger, and scallions, is great served over meats as well, but the most exciting variation is over eggplant. The sweet and sour flavor blend just mixes so well with it.
Why not surprise your family with a new twist for eating fish, Shui Zhu Yu. This spicy dish is prepared by boiling the fish of your choice in thick, sizzling oil, flavored with aromatic spices and Sichuan pepper. But be warned, this dish is so spicy that the sauce is generally not consumed along with the fish.
There are so many different dishes to recommend, that this list was not an easy one to come up with. If you visit the province, be sure to sample one of these exotic delights. But thereís no reason to wait for a tripóa quick search online will result in hundreds of wonderful Sichuanese recipes.