Sichuan Cuisine is a style of Chinese cuisine with the origin in the Sichuan province. In North America the cuisine is often spelled Szechuan or Szechwan. Sichuan cuisine has a long tradition. More than 800 years ago it was already famous during the Southern Song Dynasty.
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Sichuan Cuisine is famous for the abundance of flavors and the use of spicy ingredients. Szechuan pepper and chili peppers are the star ingredients. Szechuan pepper is not as hot as chili pepper, but is very appreciated for its numbing effect on the tongue. Sichuan cuisine tends to use very much the quick stir frying methods, as well as dry braising and dry stewing. Beef, lamb, and pork meat is commonly used. Cooking fish is also appreciated in Sichuan cuisine.
1. Kung Pao Chicken
It is a very popular styr-fry dish and has a long history. Is is believed that this dish is named after a governor of the Sichuan Province. His title was Gongbao and he was a late Qing Dynasty official (1820-1886). Kung Pao chicken is made with chicken, peanuts, few vegetables and chili peppers. Sometimes cashews replace the peanuts. The original Sichuan recipe uses Sichuan peppercorns too. This give an authentic taste of the Kung Pao chicken.
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2. Twice cooked pork
Twice cooked pork is as popular as Kung Pao Chicken. Both are the base of many other dishes from the Sichuan Cuisine. It is said that the Sichuan people enjoys a feast every 1st and 15th of lunar months and twice cooked pork is the main course.
The process of cooking this dish is simple: the pork meat it is boiled first, then fried in a wok. Among the most common vegetables that accompany the pork meat are cabbage, peppers and leeks.
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3. Tea smoked duck
Is is one of the most representative dishes of Sichuan cuisine. The most difficult part of its preparation consists in the process of hot smoking the duck over tea leaves. The method of smoking meat was a culinary craft practiced by the natives of Sichuan province as a way to preserve the longevity of food without refrigeration. However, due to its difficult preparation, this dish is eaten rather in festive events
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4. Mapo Dofu
Is is also named Mapo Tofu. The name it was given in honor of an old woman that is believed to have invented the dish. The original recipe is very spicy and consist in tofu set in a spicy chili sauce. The sauce is bean-based with pork or beef minced. Being very popular this dish have many variations.
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5. Lamp shadow beef
This delicious dish is a special local product of Sichuan province. The dish consist in very thin sheets of beef that looks like a translucent paper. The beef is slippery and reddish.
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