Archive for the Sichuan cuisine Category

Dong’an Chicken

Posted in Chinese cuisine, Sichuan cuisine on May 20, 2008 by yongtzetan

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Dong’an Chicken, originally uploaded by yongtze.

This is a dish originated from the province of Hunan. The city of Dong’an, the reputed birthplace of this dish, is on its southern border. It is like a milder braised version of the famous Sichuan’s Chicken with Chillies. It is spicy, salty, sweet, and sour: a delicate concoction of chicken flavoured with chillies and rice vinegar. Serve with rice.

Serves 4:

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or water
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon black vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chilli oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 450g boneless chicken thighs, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • peanut oil for deep-frying
  • 3/4 cup chopped spring onion
  • 1 red chille, sliced (or more if you want if spicier)
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • salt
  • Sichuan peppercorn, crushed

1. To prepare the sauce, stir together all the ingredients listed for the sauce in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Combine chicken pieces, dark soy sauce, and cornflour in a bowl and mix well. Marimate for about 15 minutes.

3. Pour the oil to a depth of 2.5 cm into a wok or frying pan and heat until very hot (about 180 degree C). Carefully slide the chicken into the oil, stir with wooden chopsticks to separate the pieces. Fry until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer to a rack placed over a plate to drain.

4. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the oil, return the wok to high heat. Add spring onion, chillies, ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrance, about 30 seconds. Return the chicken to the work and stir-fry over high heat, mixing all the ingredients, about 30 seconds.

5. Pour in the pre-mixed sauce and stir over high heat until well mixed, about 10 seconds. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer gently for about 4 minutes. Season with salt and crushed Sichuan peppercorn.

6. Transfer to a serving plate and serve at once with rice.

Pock-marked Mother Chen’s beancurd – ma po dou fu

Posted in Chinese cuisine, Sichuan cuisine on January 14, 2008 by yongtzetan

Ma po dou fu is probably the most famous Sichuan dish. It is served in almost all Chinese restaurants you have been to. However many of them are just unrecognisable imitations. This is an authentic recipe slightly adapted from ‘sichuan cookery’ by fuchsia dunlop, as it claimed this is the way as taught at the Sichuan provincial cooking school.

This is absolutely rich and tasty. Just a note on the ingredient: You need to get the real Sichuanese chilli bean paste which has broad bean in it like the one shown in the photo (can be found in Chinese grocery on Russell Street) because there are many “chilli bean paste” brands which are totally different in taste.

Serve 2-3:

– 500g of soft beancurd, cut into 2cm cubes
– 5 spring onions, sliced at a steep angle
– 40ml peanut oil
– 250g minced pork/beef
– 3 tablespoons Sichianese chilli bean paste
– 1 tablespoon black fermented beans
– 2 teaspoons ground dried chilli
– a few whole dried chillies
– 250ml chicken chicken stock
– 1.5 teaspoons white sugar
– 3 tablespoons corn starch mixed with 4 tablespoons cold water
– 1/2 teaspoon ground roasted Sichuan pepper

1. Let the beancurd steep in very hot or gently simmering lightly salted water.

2. Add the oil in a wok or frying pan and heat over a high flame until smoking. Add the minced beer or pork and stir-fry until it is crispy and a little brown, but not yet dry.

3. Turn the heat down to medium, add the chilli bean paste and stir-fry for 30 seconds, until the oil has become red. Add the black fermented beans, ground chillies, and dried chillies and stir-fry for another 20-30 seconds until they are fragrant.

4. Pour in the stock, stir well and add the drained beancurd. Mix it in gently by pushing the back of your ladle or wooden spoon. Take great care not to break the beancurd. Season with sugar. The chilli bean paste and black fermented bean should provide enough saltiness but try it and season with some soy sauce and salt if needed. Simmer gently for 5 minutes until the beancurd has absorbed the flavours of the sauce.

5. Add the spring onions and gently stir in. And add the corn starch mixture in two or three stages, mixing well, until the sauce has thickend enough to cling glossily to the meat and beancurd. Don’t add more than you need or you might don’t even need it if preferred. Finally, pour everything into a deep bowl, scatter with the ground Sichuan pepper and serve.


pock-marked Mother Chen's beancurd - ma po dou fu

Chicken with chillies

Posted in Chicken dishes, Chinese cuisine, Sichuan cuisine on January 7, 2008 by yongtzetan

Chicken with chillies, originally uploaded by yongtze.

It’s been a while since I last updated this blog because of holidays and I felt the need to be lazy for a little while.

What’s good to eat in this hot summer? It might seem unsuitable but I love eating spicy food in summer. It makes you sweat even more but it really feels good.

This is a Sichuan, more specifically a Chongqing specialty. The chillies used here are to give fragrance and a gentle spiciness to the cooking oil, and are not usually eaten (however, we ate a bit of them because they smell so good.). Take good care not to burn the chillies.

This is a recipe adapted from Fuchsia Dunlop’s ‘sichuan cookery’. It is a great book specialising in the cooking of Sichuan.

Serves 2:

– 2 chicken breasts, cut into 2cm cubes or chicken on the bone cut into same size

– 2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
– 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
– 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
– 1/4 teaspoon salt

– about 50g dried chillies
– 2 teaspoons whole Sichuan pepperconr
– groundnut oil for deep-frying
– 3 cloves garlic, sliced and an equivalent amount of ginger, sliced
– 2 spring onions, white parts only, each cut into about 3 sections
– salt to taste
– a pinch of sugar
– 2 teaspoons sesame oil

1. Mix the marinade ingredients with the chicken and set aside for 20-30 minutes.

2. Snip the chillies in half with a pair of scissors and discard as many seeds as possible (if you like it spicier you can keep the seeds).

3. Heat oil for deep-frying to a very high temperature. Add the chicken and fry for 4-5 minutes until the pieces are cooked through, golden-brown and a little crispy on the outside. Drain well and set aside. Alternatively, you can saute the chicken so you don’t need to use so much oil, which was what I did.

4. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a wok over a moderate flame. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry until they are fragrant and just taking colour. Then add all the chillies and the Sichuan peppercorns and stir-fry for 20 seconds until the oil is spicy and fragrant, be careful not to burn the chillies, remove the wok from the stove for a few seconds if the oil seems too hot.

5. Add the chicken and spring onions and stir in. Season with salt to taste and a good pinch of sugar. Stir well so that the chicken is coated with the fragrant oil. Finally, remove from the heat, stir in the sesame oil and serve.

Dainty sichuan food

Posted in Reviews, Sichuan cuisine on June 17, 2007 by yongtzetan

Dainty sichuan food is the best Szechuan restaurant I’ve been to so
far. The food is great and very well priced, given the generous serving
size. The restaurant is always crowded and most customers are Chinese,
suggesting that food is truly authentic. Just a note: people who can’t
take spicy food probably won’t be able to enjoy most of the food on the
menu. However, you can always wash the food down with a big bottle of
Tsing Dao beer. And if you can’t finish the food, the waiter/waitress
will be happy to provide you plastic containers to take away the

A must try for Szechuan food lovers. Try cummin pork/lamb spare ribs too.