Hey people. Yesterday one of my friends took me to a so called Chinese restaurant and ordered fried rice. Then she started to brag about how good this rice tasted. And I was thinking honey you know nothing about Chinese food. So I thought to write this article to tell you about some awesome Chinese food that I’ve tried when I was doing my internship in Chengdu China. So you will never embarrass yourself like my friend did. A word of advice that these dishes I’m going to talk about are Sichuan cuisines which are famous for their spiciness. So eat with your own responsibility.
Hot pot 火锅
Hot Pot is exactly what it sounds like a “hot pot” what happens in a hot pot is that you order a bunch or raw meat and vegetables and you boil them in a hot plate and you dine it at the table with your friends. It’s a community thing. At my first time there was lamb, egg dumplings, shrimps, and all kind of mushrooms. At the restaurant they give us the opportunity to make our own source. Which can be fun and dangerous at the same time because if you don’t know about Asian species you could end up with a source which too spicy for you like I did.
Hot pot has been separated for two parts. One for spicy cooking and one for non-spicy. You can take the food out of the hot pot to your source straightly. If you’re not familiar with this food can end up in your cloths. So don’t wear dress white when you go to a hot pot. The fun thing about hot pot is that you never know what you will get when you put chopsticks in and grab something. You may want to get some lamb but you will get a mushroom because everything is cooking in the same pot.
Mapo tofu 麻婆豆腐
This one is a something that you all tofu lovers should try. May be one of the most famous Sichuan dishes ever. It’s funny how most of the Chinese dishes have a story with their name. This dish is also known as Pocked Face Grandmother Bean Curd because it was invented by an old women with a pocked face. You can find both spicy version and the not that much spicy version of this famous cuisine. What I had was the spicy one where tofu was cut into pieces like marshmallows and cooked with ground beef, yellow onions and leeks. Among the flavors I tasted garlic, sweet beans, chili sauce with hint of pepper. The dish looks like a bunch of marshmallows dipped into a spicy river with slices of green onions on top. Don’t forget you try this if you go to Sichuan restaurant.
Water boiled beef 水煮牛肉
This can be beef or fish boiled with a stew of veggies like cabbage, onions and leeks. Seems like a non-spicy dish right? But then come the spices. Hot red chilies mixed with garlic and pepper is added all over the dish. It doesn’t look like you have added some spices to the food. It seems like, some food is added to a bowl of spices with super spicy sauces. So if you’re not good with spices make sure to keep a large bottle of water with you when you try this.
Twice cooked pork or Huiguo Rou 回锅肉
Do you like bacon? Then you are going to love this dish. A good dish is made with pork belly meat. First the meat is boiled and then it’s cooked again with oil. Because it’s cooked for two times it is named as twice cooked pork. Chilies and veggies are added to make the dish more colorful and tastier. However normally people who order this dish don’t care about the veggies. They just want to have some delicious pork. So basically it’s a dish of bacon with spicy sauce and little bit of veggies. And for your information, statics shows that this is the most ordered dish in any Sichuan restaurants. I’m glad that I had a chance to try this dish in it’s home Chengdu, during my internship abroad.
Yu xiang qiezi 鱼香茄子
Sichuan style eggplants – the awesomeness of this dish is that even if you hate regular eggplants, you may fall in love this dish. This cuisine has a Sichuan style of seasoning called fish fragrance. The seasoning is prepared with soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, chilly balanced with green onions and ginger garlic. So you can feel the sweetness and the spiciness at the same time.
Gong bao chicken or Kung pao chicken 宫保鸡丁
This is a dish of chicken named afterwards a person. The difference is in the cooking. First the chicken is mixed with siy sauce, egg and cornfovr. After that there are two methods you can get this. In the first method it is served with deep fried chicken cooked in a spicy sauce and the in the second method it is served with the chicken cooked in the spicy sauce without frying it. So either way it’s spicy.
The dish is also having different kinds of veggies like mushrooms, baby corn, bell pepper and onions. And what makes this dish unique is the roasted peanuts which is added at the last minute of cooking. Deep fried chicken with crunchy peanuts in a spicy sauce. That’s what this is.
Ma La Tang 麻辣烫
Finally something less spicy. A soup with vegetables and mushrooms. But make no mistakes within the soup there are red chilies waiting to be bitten. So non spicy people this is a mine field of chilies. So don’t have this while watching TV.
So these are the most famous Sichuan dishes that I wanted to tell you about. Every dish is living up to its birth places’ legacy of total spiciness. So remember if you ever go to China or Chinese restaurant please order some traditional dishes like these. China has a variety of cuisines. Don’t always try the obvious dishes. And one more thing if you ever go to a Sichuan restaurant please don’t ask for non-spicy food. That can make the people work there very angry. So enjoy the cultural shock.