Sichuan Cuisine or Chuan Cuisine as one of the eight major Chinese cuisines enjoys a high reputation both at home and abroad and has a long history. Sichuan, which was called “Ba Shu” in ancient times, boasts the title of “The Land of Abundance”.
It is located in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River and surrounded by mountains with a moderate climate and rich precipitation. Throughout Sichuan province, there are numerous rivers and lakes, abundant crops, annually produced vegetables and fruits with a complete range of fowl and poultry. The mountain-reared wild game and rare specialties are bear, deer, roe deer, white fungus, Chinese caterpillar fungus and bamboo shoots. The freshwater products from the lakes and rivers are longsnout catfish, prenant’s schizothoracin, rock carp and Chinese sturgeon. These favourable and natural environments with abundant speciality resources greatly promote the formation and development of Sichuan Cuisine.
Sichuan Cuisine, which is primarily based on Chengdu and Chongqing dishes, focuses on the refined selection of raw materials, the dimensions, the harmonious layout and the sharp contrasting taste and colours. Sichuan dishes are spicy, hot, savoury, fresh, greasy and strong. Peppers, prickly ash peels, peppertrees, along with ginger are frequently used. There are a great number of cooking techniques which are related to stewing with soup, sweet and sour sauce, chilli oil, prickly ash peel spices, ginger sauce, sugar and vinegar, lychee, and mashed garlic and many other combinations. Besides these unique features, Sichuan Cuisine also boasts the fame that each dish has its own taste and the entire dish family comprises of hundreds of flavours. The major cooking methods are frying, sautéing, quick-frying, boiling, stewing, deep-frying and simmering. In particular, moderate stir-frying and boiling, and braising and stewing with soup are extremely unique.
There are a considerable number of refined dishes, ranging from household dishes, traditional folk snacks and popular fast foods, to the senior feast consisting of three steamed dishes and nine braised dishes (San Zheng Jiu Kou, 三蒸九扣; a feast popular in the rural areas of Sichuan) with various creative patterns. (Gongbao Jiding, 宫爆鸡丁), Braised Fish (Ganshao Yu, 干烧鱼), Sautéed Sliced Pork with Pepper and Chilli (Huiguo Rou, 回锅肉), Braised Spicy Tofu (Mapo Doufu, 麻婆豆腐), Beef Lung in Chilli Sauce (Fuqi Feipian, 夫妻肺片), Tea Smoked Duck, Sichuan Style (Zhangcha Yazi, 樟茶鸭子), Sautéed Shredded Beef in Chilli Sauce (Ganbian Niurou Si, 干煸牛肉丝), Diced Chicken with Specially Hot Sauce (Guai Wei Ji Kuai, 怪味鸡块), Deep Fried Beef Slices (Dengying Niurou, 灯影牛肉), Fried Shredded Pork with Sweet and Sour Sauce (Yuxiang Rousi, 鱼香肉丝) and Poached Sliced Beef in Hot Chilli Oil (Shuizhu Niurou, 水煮牛肉).
|San Zheng Jiu Kou, a feast popular in the rural areas of Sichuan.|
|Typical Sichuan dishes are Kung Pao Chicken or Stir-fried Diced Chicken with Chilli|
Sauce and Peanuts.
|Sautéed Sliced Pork with Pepper and Chilli (Huiguo Rou).|
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