Authentic Chinese Sichuan food by chef Xinyu from Rotterdam
Sichuan food culture
Sichuan cuisine often contains food preserved through pickling, salting and drying. Preserved dishes are generally served as spicy dishes with heavy application of chili oil. The first thing come into most of people’s mind is that all the Sichuan food is about spicy flavour. I would like to tell them more about Sichuan cuisine which is not only about spicy. We have more unique flavour. The most unique and important spice in Sichuan cuisine is the Sichuan pepper (花椒; huājiāo; ‘flower pepper’). Sichuan peppercorn has an intense fragrant, citrus-like flavour and produces a “tingly-numbing” (麻; má) sensation in the mouth.
Broad bean chili paste (豆瓣酱 dòubànjiàng) is one of the most important seasonings. My grandma can make really taste home-made broad bean chili paste. I should have learned how to make my own broad bean chili paste from her. Now, she is getting older and older, and doesn’t remember lots of things and can speak clearly. We use Broad bean chili paste a lot . It is an essential component to famous dishes such as Mapo tofu and double-cooked pork slices. Sichuan cuisine is the origin of several prominent sauces/flavours widely used in modern Chinese cuisine, including:
Yuxiang (魚香): This flavours is one of my most favourite one. The most famous Sichuan cuisine with this sauce are Yuxiangrousi(鱼香肉丝) and Yuxiangqiezi( 鱼香茄子)
Yuxiangrousi(鱼香肉丝): stir fried sour and spicy sliced pork. The most two important ingredients for this cuisine are Paojiao(泡椒，pickled peppers) and Broad bean chili paste( 豆瓣酱 dòubànjiàng).
Yuxiangqiezi( 鱼香茄子) ：Stir fried eggplant with sour and spicy sauce.
Mala (麻辣): This flavour is combination with spicy and numbing. We cooked the dish with Sichuan chili and Sichuan peppercorns. One of the famous Sichuan dishes is the Mapo Tofu.
Guaiwei (怪味): This flavour combines spicy, numbing, sweet and sour.
My favourite Sichuan cuisine is Suan Cai Yu (酸菜鱼): Boiled fish with pickled Sichuan Sauerkraut in hot and sour flavour. I am in love with the soup. You need to cook with the Sichuan pickled vegetables and peppers. Pickled vegetables are the most commonly side ingredients used in Sichuan cuisine. You may heard of Paojiao (泡椒) or Suan Cai（酸菜 ）in Chinese.