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Sichuan Cuisine is the most widely served cuisine in China. The dishes of Sichuan Cuisine are famous for their hot and spicy flavor. An outstanding facet of Sichuan dishes is the delicate use of pepper or chili. The ingredients used are great in variety, including poultry, pork, beef, fish, vegetables and tofu. The methods of cooking vary according to the texture required. Fast-frying is the most widely used cooking method.

Sichuan Cuisine wins universal praise for its hotness, sourness and numbness it produces, which are rare in other regional cuisines. These together sum up the unique flavor of Chuan Cuisine, which enjoys a good reputation as a cuisine that is "one dish with one flavor and one hundred dishes with one hundred flavors". Its cooking methods include baking, sautéing, dry-sautéing and steaming. Chuan Cuisine has good combinations of flavors and often has thick gravy.

Although, Chuan Cuisine is served at every corner of the world, the most authentic Sichuan food is still to be found at its hometowns: Chengdu and Chongqing.

The Eight Famous Cuisines

Typical Sichuan Dishes

Mapo Bean Curd (Mapo Tofu)

Mapo Bean Curd is bean curd set in a chili-and-bean based sauce, which is usually a thin, oily, and bright red suspension, and often topped with minced meat, usually pork or beef. Seasonings include water chestnuts, onions, other vegetables, or wood ear fungus. The taste of Mapo Bean Curd is fittingly described as numbing, spicy hot, fresh, tender and soft, aromatic and flaky. Mapo Bean Curd is easy to find outside of China.

Kung Pao Chicken

Spicy Diced Chicken (Kung Pao Chicken)

Spicy Diced Chicken is cooked by frying diced chicken, dry red pepper and golden peanuts. Spicy Diced Chicken is as popular among Westerners as Mapo Bean Curd.

Fuqi Fei Pian (Husband and Wife Lung Slices)

Fuqi Fei Pian is made of thinly sliced beef, bovine lung or tongue seasoned with chili oil. There is a romantic story of the origin of this famous Sichuan dish. Guo Zhaohua (the inventor) and his wife sold their acetarious (treated with vinegar) beef slices by trundling a small cart along the street. Their beef slices were very delicious, and no one could resist the charming smell in that street. People liked the food made by this couple very much, so they gave it the name Husband and Wife Lung Slices.

Sichuan Hot Pot

Sichuan Hot Pot, like most of the cuisine in that humid and populous province, is very spicy. The broth is flavored with chili peppers and other pungent herbs and spices. The main ingredients include hot pepper, Chinese crystal sugar and wine. Slices of kidney, chicken breast, beef tripe, goose intestines, spring onion, soy bean sprouts, mushrooms, duck and sea cucumber are the usual meats used in the dish.

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Sichuan Dishes Menu

English Chinese Pronunciation Characters
Sichuan Hotpot Sìchuān huǒguō srr-chwan hwor-gwor 四川火锅
Husband and Wife Lung Slices (slices of beef and offal seasoned with chili oil) fūqī fèi piàn foo-chee fay pyen 夫妻肺片
Water Boiled Beef shuǐ zhǔ niúròu shway joo nyoh-roh 水煮牛肉
Fish Flavored Beef Shreds yú xiāng niúròu sī yoo sshyang nyoh-roh srr 鱼香牛肉丝
Fried Bean Curd and Beef with Cayenne Pepper (very spicy) málà tàng maa-laa tung 麻辣烫
Boiled Mutton fèiténg yángròu fay-tnng yang-roh 沸腾羊肉
Twice Cooked Pork huí guō ròu hway gwor roh 回锅肉
Steamed Pork with Spicy Cabbage dōngcài kòuròu dong-tseye koh-roh 冬菜扣肉
Kung Pao Chicken (diced chicken fried With peanuts/cashews) gōngbǎo jī dīng gong-baoww jee ding 宫保鸡丁
Chongqing Spicy Deep-Fried Chicken Chóngqìng làzǐ jī chong-ching laa-zrr jee 重庆辣子鸡
Sesame Oil Chicken máyóu jī maa-yoh jee 麻油鸡
Duck Hotpot (the hotpot is divided into two parts: one spicy, one plain) yuānyāng huǒguō ywen-yang hwor-gwor 鸳鸯火锅
Boiled Fish with Pickled Chinese Cabbage suāncài yú swann-tseye yoo 酸菜鱼
Dongpo Cuttlefish dōngpō mòyú dong-por mor-yoo 东坡墨鱼
Stir-Fried Bean Curd in Chili Sauce mápó dòufu maa-por doh-foo 麻婆豆腐

Chinese Food Menus

Regional Cuisines

Meat Dishes

Soups, Hotpots, and Snacks

Rice, Wheat, and Vegetarian Dishes

Related Pages

Hi, I'm Ruru Zhou
I updated this article on April 23, 2014
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Questions and Answers About Chuan Cuisine

arshad 2011-03-12
Show Answer
soon i will bw visiting chengdu, can some one tell me about halal food restaurents/hotels. i m from pakisatn,
Hi Arshad, I highly recommend this website to you: http://www.islamichina.com/halal/index.php?cityid=28&manage=2. Michael Hu replied on 2011-03-14
Hi, first you should orient yourself with the common Mandarin transliteration of "halal" being "qing zhen" or "qing zhen cai" (sounds like ching-jen-tsigh meaning halal foods). This will help you to clarify what you are looking for. I f you ask a taxi driver or local, you might be directed to a noodle shop where you can get good hand-pulled noodles in different styles, stir-fried and seasoned meat dishes (da pan jie is excellent/ big plate chicken) and in such cases noodle shops usually have a large photo poster with images and prices of several dishes. It may get old eating this style of food during the trip but at least you can be sure (most of the time) that they are not using any pork-based oils. Whether or not all the lamb, beef and chicken they serve is zabiha is another issue. However, there are plenty of zabiha butchers in Chengdu and a variety of cuisines. Chengdu also boasts a fair amount of foreign cuisines too, including Mexican and other Asian cuisines, such as Indian. You may be able to find some good vegetarian food as well. Good luck and enjoy your trip guest replied on 2011-03-16
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