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Sichuan cuisine is a style of cuisine originating from the Sichuan Province in China's south-west. Prizing freshness and "mala," or "spicy, numbing" heat, this region's cuisine is famously spicy. A number of Sichuanese dishes have been adapted for local tastes both within China and abroad, chief among these being Dan-Dan Noodle, Mapo Tofu and General Tso's Chicken.
Characteristics[edit | edit source]
Sichuan food is notable for its extensive use of chili-peppers as well as the berries of the mountain-ash plant, commonly called "Szechuan pepper;" the latter imparts a distinctive floral scent to most Sichuanese dishes while also providing a curious numbing sensation to the mouth. Additionally, foods preserved by drying, pickling and salting are exceedingly common.
Common Ingredients[edit | edit source]
The vast majority of ingredients in Sichuan cooking are either readily available in most developed regions of the world or may be passably substituted for similar (and more common) variants. Beyond ingredients common to Chinese cooking in general (ginger, soya sauce, garlic, preserved black beans, rice, dried mushrooms, wheat-flour noodles, etc), other common ingredients include:
- Preserved, salted red chili peppers (commonly substituted in many Chinese restaurants for the widely-available garlic-chili sambal oelek)
- Sichuan Peppercorns (no substitute is available)
- Chili Soy Bean Paste
- Chili oil