Top 8 Chengdu Cuisine

Chuan Cuisine, or Sichuan Cuisine, is one of the eight major cuisines in China. In addition to the general spiciness (the feeling of ‘La’) shared by some other places in the country, various specific spicy blends are made possible by the use of different ingredients and preparation methods, such as Ma La (peppercorn used), Hu La (baked chili over a charcoal fire), Xiang La (fragrance brought by sesame oil), Xian La (made from fresh chili), Cao La (chopped and fermented salty chili) and Suan La (pickled chili). For each different dish, a dedicated spicy blend is used.

1. Chengdu Hot Pot (Ma La spicy)

The ingredients in a Chengdu hot pot are mainly internal organs, such as cattle tripe, cattle aorta and brain which are the standard items. The most favored is the Qianceng Du (thousand layered tripe, the outer layer of a cattle stomach), which can be served in slices. It is wonderfully chewy for foodies. In addition to the traditional Red Oil Hot Pot, there are many different soup flavors – the base flavor of a hot pot formed by the ingredients in the soup, literally the basis of a hot pot, "Guo Di". Whether Fish Hot Pots or Beef Hot Pots, they are all lovely choices on the menu.

Characteristics:
The various sauces and soups (remembering Ma, La, Xian and Xiang that are mentioned above) are rich in layers.
Recommendation:
Shu Jiuxiang Hot Pot Restaurant
Address: No. 53, Nanfu Street, Section 2, Renmin South Road, Jinjiang District, Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, China

2. Kung Pao Chicken (Hu La spicy)

The dish introduced from the neighboring Guizhou Province is now identified by most people as a Chuan Cuisine brand. It is made from chicken, dried chili, peanuts, peppercorns, etc. To get the Hu La spicy flavor, the heat for the dish or the seasoning have to be well controlled. Drop the dried chili and peppercorns into the boiling oil and the proper fragrance will come out before they are really over burned. Characteristics: it has both the sweet and spicy flavor.

Recommendation:
People's Dining Hall
Address: 10, No. 16, Yulin East Street, Section 4, Renmin South Road, Wuhou District, Chengdu City, Sichuan Province.

3. Mapo Tofu

Mapo Tofu was created at the end of the 19th century by a female cook who ran a snack bar on the Wanfu Bridge in Chengdu. The main food ingredients are tofu and minced meat. The yellowish tofu looks lustrous and tastes Ma La spicy. In Chinese, a group of five characters, namely Ma (numbing), La (spicy hot), Su (flaky), Xiang (aromatic) and Nen (tender) are used to describe its features. The oily surface of the dish can retain the heat as it tastes better when it's hot.

Characteristics: Delicious and rich in flavors
Recommendation:
Chen's Mapo Tofu
Address: 10-12, No. 10, Qinghua Road, Qingyang District, Chengdu City, China.

4. Twice Cooked Pork (Huiguo rou)

People would probably give their full credit to its top place on the Sichuan Cuisine list. Quality pork is boiled until it is medium well done for later processing. Use Doubanjiang (Sichuan chili bean sauce) to stir-fry garlic sprouts and add the boiled pork slices and sweet soybean paste. Sauté the food in the pan slowly to bring out the flavor.

Characteristics: the tender and delicious meat is not greasy at all
Recommendation:
Taolin Restaurant
Address: 1, No. 69, Dongsheng Street, Jinjiang District, Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, China

5. Zhanshui Rabbit (Xian La spicy)

The superior Zhanshui (complex seasoning sauce) is usually freshly prepared and should be based on fresh Tabasco peppers. The sliced pepper rings will go with green chili to separately contribute to the flavor and the color of the sauce. Other ingredients include Sichuan pepper, coriander and sesame paste. The pretty hot sauce is really a match with the rabbit meat cooked with the skin.

Characteristics: Xian La spicy and meat of chewy texture
Recommendation:
People's Dining Hall
Address: 10, No. 16, Yulin East Street, Section 4, Renmin South Road, Wuhou District, Chengdu City, Sichuan Province.

6. Shredded pork in garlic sauce (Yuxiang Rousi)

Yuxiang refers to the sauce with a fish fragrance which is achieved by a mixture of fermented salty hot pepper, sugar and vinegar. It tastes salty, sweet, sour and spicy. And the taste sequence is that the sour and sweet tastes come first and the spicy taste comes last. Sliced port is very tender to chew.

Characteristics: the tender meat looks very lustrous.
Recommendation:
Chen Mapo Restaurant
Address: 10-12, No. 10, Qinghua Road, Qingyang District, Chengdu City, China.

7. Boiled pork

Boiled pork is a renowned family dish in Sichuan. To create it the pork is boiled in water and chili oil. The meat is spicy, tender and easy to chew. The bright chili oil is really spicy.

Characteristics: spicy, delicious and smooth
Recommendation:
Yutian Restaurant
Address: 9, No. 20, Section 2, Hongxing Road, Jinjiang District, Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, China

8. Sliced beef tripe and offal in chili sauce (Fuqi Feipian)

Cattle scalp, hearts, tongues, stripe and beef are all the optional ingredients. Slice the marinated food and dress it with boiling red oil that is made of chili oil, peppercorn powder and sesame. The lustrous chewy dish is really aromatic.

Features: the spicy and delicious food is really chewy.
Recommendation:
Ziyan Baiwei Chicken (chicken of layered flavors)
Address: G1 & G2, 1F of Hongxing Agriculture Trading Market, No. 98, Dongsheng Street, Jinjiang District, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China

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By Shirley Li
Web Editor