'sichuan' on Serious Eats

14 Essential Sichuan Eats (Beyond Hot Pot) in Chengdu and Chongqing

Though Chongqing Province and the city of Chongqing itself are no longer part of Sichuan Province (they split in the '90s), they share a culinary and cultural backbone. It's a foundation built on the slow, smoldering burn of dried chilies, the pungent bite of raw garlic, and mouth-numbing handfuls of citrus-scented Sichuan peppercorns, all balanced with dashes of black vinegar and more peanuts than you ever thought you could eat. More

Han Dynasty Rocks the First Stage Then Loses Its Beat

Far from being the Sichuan dead zone that it was even a decade ago, New York has become a virtual checklist of regional Chinese cuisines with the likes of Legend and Café China leading the Sichuan charge. Han Dynasty is a little different. The first New York branch of proprietor and Philadelphian Han Chiang's chain of a half dozen dazzlingly successful restaurants (five in Philly and one in Jersey), the restaurant rolled into town with what seemed like a busload of groupies already in tow. Some of that love is deserved at the New York location. And some of it isn't. More

First Impressions of Han Dynasty, Philly's Sichuan Outpost in New York

During a recent conversation with two of New York's most acclaimed Chinese restaurant owners and chefs, both of whom happen to hail from Philly, I heard nothing but unequivocal praise for Han Dynasty. They quipped that their (very famous) chef would hate the place "because it is so fucking good!" The East Village location hasn't been open long enough to warrant a proper review, but my impressions from a few early visits feel very promising. More

Luxury, if You Know Where to Look, at La Vie en Szechuan

At La Vie en Szechuan, they work to take care of you. And a look around the dining room says why: The young, smartly dressed, nearly all-Chinese clientele look ready for their night out in K-Town, not for slumming it on Mott Street. Like Cafe China up north a few blocks, the restaurant aims for something more upscale, and in setting, presentation, and quality it largely succeeds. Many Sichuan classics, the dishes we often look to as benchmarks for a restaurant like this, are the weakest parts of the menu. But if you order strategically around them you'll bear witness to some of the more interesting, unexpected, and yes—upscale—Chinese cooking in the city. More

Spirited Sichuan, No Apologies, at Lao Cheng Du in Flushing

Use "home cooking" to describe a restaurant's menu and you give it a kind of death sentence. The comfort food is familiar and well meaning—and ever so slightly boring.

That's a shame, because we all know at least one home cook who isn't like that at all—whose cooking is raw and unafraid, maybe a little off-kilter and all the better for it, who uses a few too many lumps of butter or extra licks of salt. What they lack in cheffy respect for balance they make up for in pure conviction, and you always hope they invite you over for dinner.

At Lao Cheng Du, chef Big Sister Zhu is that cook. And her fiery take on Sichuan cuisine is on the menu.

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Cook the Book: 'Every Grain of Rice'

When it comes to cooking Chinese food at home, I'm usually in the "stir-fry it or buy it" category. I'm more than willing to toss some veggies and pieces of meat in a skillet with soy sauce, chiles, ginger, and garlic come dinnertime, but ask me about red-braising or dry-frying and I'll usually shrug my shoulders and suggest heading to Mission Chinese or Z&Y. But now that I have a copy of Fuchsia Dunlop's new cookbook, Every Grain of Rice on my kitchen counter, things have changed. Enter to win your copy here! More

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