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Seven cities in the world have been designated as gastronomic cities by UNESCO. Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, is one of them.
Sichuan cuisine is spicy with a delicious taste and has won many people's hearts.
Here, we have listed the top 11 popular Sichuan dishes, which you should try during your Sichuan trip.
There is no doubt that the hot pot is representative of Sichuan cuisine. It is popular across the nation because of its delicious taste and convenience.
The soup base is cooked with many spices including chili pepper, Sichuan pepper, garlic, and broad bean chili paste. You can add what you like to the soup base.
Popular ingredients include frozen rolled beef, fish balls, shrimp balls, cow's stomach, needle mushrooms, kelp, and vegetables. Learn more about the Sichuan hot pot.
Twice-cooked pork slices are a local family dish. It is a good choice to eat with rice.
A whole piece of pork is boiled in water first and then cut into slices and cooked with other ingredients, hence its name of twice-cooked pork slices.
The pork slices cooked with garlic and a special Sichuan broad bean chili paste are appetizing.
Many Sichuan dishes are cooked with fish-flavored sauce made of scallions, ginger, garlic, wine, vinegar, and soy sauce.
Legend has it that there was a family of businessmen in Sichuan who liked to eat fish very much and they were very particular about the seasoning. Therefore, when they cooked the fish, they would add some scallions, ginger, garlic, wine, vinegar, soy sauce, and other condiments to make it taste better.
One night, when the hostess was cooking a dish, she used the seasoning left over from the last time she cooked the fish so as not to waste the ingredients. Beyond anyone’s expectations, the dish was very delicious and so the sauce was widely used in Sichuan dishes.
Kung pao chicken may be the most famous Sichuan dish among foreign people. Almost every Chinese restaurant abroad offers this dish.
The tender chicken, fragrant cucumber, crisp peanuts, and sweet carrots with dried chili pepper provide a combined sweet, sour, and spicy taste. Learn how to cook kung pao chicken.
This dish is made of thinly sliced beef (or bovine lung or tongue) and a generous amount of various spices, such as Sichuan peppercorns seasoned with chili oil.
In the name of this dish, fuqi means couple and feipian means lung slices. It got its name because this dish was created by a couple who sold their beef slices for a living by trundling a small cart along the streets.
The delicious beef slices won the hearts of the locals. In honor of the couple, patrons coined the name — husband and wife lung slices.
Mapo tofu is numbing, spicy, fresh, tender and soft, aromatic and flaky. The bean curd is cooked with a chili- and bean-based sauce – usually a thin, oily, and bright red suspension – and often topped with minced meat, pork, or beef.
This dish was created in 1862 during the Qing Dynasty by Chen Mapo who was a restaurant’s landlady and good at cooking tofu; therefore, the dish was named after her.
Dandan noodles is yet another quintessential Sichuan dish that has received international attention and hence may come in different versions.
Unlike the usually watered-down ones available outside Sichuan, dandan noodles in Sichuan Province embody a combustion of flavors — savory, nutty, spicy, and smoky.
The noodles are drenched in chili oil with vegetables and include Sichuan pepper with minced pork served on top.
The main features of long chao shou ('dragon fried hands') are thin skins made of wheat flour, stuffing, and a tasty soup.
The wonton skins are slowly rubbed and rolled to be translucent skins that are said to be "thin as paper, fine as silk". The soup is made by boiling chicken, duck, or parts of pigs, and is deemed to be ready after it has been slowly simmered and stewed to make it creamy.
This is a kind of spicy hot snack in Sichuan and another form of hot pot. Sliced raw meats and vegetables are impaled on bamboo skewers. The skewers are boiled in a pan with spicy soup.
Popular ingredients include quail eggs, shrimp dumplings, tofu, and an assortment of different local mushrooms.
Liangfen is a popular Sichuan street snack. It is comprised of clear jelly noodles made from pea starch, sweet potato starch, or mung bean starch.
There are several varieties of it. Some liangfen swim in red chili oil soup that might contain sesame oil. Some herbs, such as cilantro, are generally added to taste.
The spicy hot noodles make a good contrast to the sweet wheat noodles, which makes this dish a good appetizer.
The “three big cannons” are actually three sticky rice balls. Steamed glutinous rice is mushed and rolled into balls.
During the process, the vendor will throw the rice balls against the tray producing a sound like a cannon, which is how this dish got its name.
The sticky rice balls are coated with soybean powder and drizzled with brown sugar juice, tasting sweet and soft.
To taste authentic Sichuan food, our tours can take you to some of the best local restaurants and you can try authentic snacks. You can have the opportunity to learn how to cook some traditional Sichuan dishes.