宫爆豆腐/gong bao dou fu/kung pao tofu
Last night I riffed off of Fuschia Dunlop’s insanely easy and classic Sichuan chicken recipe, and made it vegetarian-friendly. Abomination? Perhaps, albeit a delectable abomination.
I can’t emphasize enough how delicious and intense Sichuan food can be. I brought some 花椒 (hua jiao, Sichuan peppercorn) back to America with me, and had family members try just one little peppercorn.
It was fun to watch their faces as that surprising flavor spread. “I’ve never had anything like this!”, my father said. I know!
One of my students told me about her friend, a girl from Northern China, who disliked the heavy spice when she first came to Sichuan. By the time she traveled home during the first long break, her tastes had changed. She found herself craving the heat, and felt disappointed by Northern dishes she once loved.
The heat is in the cooking, in the air, and in many fiery personalities. There’s a stereotype about Sichuan women and their fearless, take-no-shit attitudes.
If you have a favorite Sichuan dish or recipe, I’d love to hear about it!
- autumn-again said: Ooh, choosing one is very difficult! Hotpot (if it counts), mapo tofu, spicy noodles, argh too many I don’t even know the names of!!
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