'sichuan' on Serious Eats

Sichuan-Style Braised Eggplant With Pickled Chilies and Garlic (Yu Xiang Qie Zi)

Despite its translation—"fish fragrant eggplant,"—yu xiang qie zi actually contains no seafood or meat products whatsoever. It gets its name from the combination of hot, sour, and sweet flavors that are typically served with fish in its native Sichuan. Smoky eggplant is stir-fried until tender, then tossed with a quick sauce flavored with chilies, black vinegar, sugar, and ginger, and garlic for a hearty, flavor-packed dish that comes together in one wok with minimal effort. More

Vegetarian Mapo Tofu with Peas

"Pock-Marked Mother's Bean Curd," the translation of the name mapo tofu, gives a good indication of the homey, comforting nature of this dish, which tastes just like something Mom would make, if Mom were Chinese and an excellent cook. This vegetarian version omits the beef or pork, instead adding in some bright green peas. More

Sichuan-Style Boiled Beef with Chili

The beef cooks very quickly, in less than a minute, after which the meat is removed from the heat and topped with a mixture of toasted and minced dried chili peppers and Sichuan peppercorn. The spice blend is crumbly. It reminds me of an oatmeal topping for a cobbler....if only the cobbler were, you know, made of beef. More

Twice-Cooked Pork

Twice-cooked pork is a Sichuan dish of fatty pork leg or belly that gets two very different cooking preparations. In the first stage, the belly is simmered just until it is cooked through. Then you stir-fry the slices of belly until the meat is brown, the fat has rendered somewhat, and the layer of skin is a little crispy around the edges. Finally, add to the wok what I think should be some kind of holy trinity of Chinese pastes: black bean, chili bean, and sweet bean. More

Gong Bao Chicken

If you've ordered takeout from a Chinese restaurant in your life, you've probably either seen or tasted Kung Pao chicken. And I'll admit that it's a dish I've loved and still enjoy. But the Westernized version is missing the key ingredient that is the star of the authentic Sichuan version, known more commonly as Gong Bao chicken: Sichuan peppercorns. It's their unique, mouth-numbing effect that gives the dish its spicy, warming quality. More

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