Szechuan cuisine
Overview
 
Szechuan cuisine, Sichuan cuisine, or Szechwan cuisine ( or ) is a style of Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine is any of several styles originating in the regions of China, some of which have become highly popular in other parts of the world – from Asia to the Americas, Australia, Western Europe and Southern Africa...

 originating in the Sichuan Province
Sichuan
' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

 of southwestern China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 famed for bold flavors, particularly the pungency and spiciness resulting from liberal use of garlic
Garlic
Allium sativum, commonly known as garlic, is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and rakkyo. Dating back over 6,000 years, garlic is native to central Asia, and has long been a staple in the Mediterranean region, as well as a frequent...

 and chili pepper
Chili pepper
Chili pepper is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. The term in British English and in Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia and other Asian countries is just chilli without pepper.Chili peppers originated in the Americas...

s, as well as the unique flavour of the Sichuan peppercorn (花椒). Peanut
Peanut
The peanut, or groundnut , is a species in the legume or "bean" family , so it is not a nut. The peanut was probably first cultivated in the valleys of Peru. It is an annual herbaceous plant growing tall...

s, sesame paste, and ginger
Ginger
Ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, consumed as a delicacy, medicine, or spice. It lends its name to its genus and family . Other notable members of this plant family are turmeric, cardamom, and galangal....

 are also prominent ingredients in Szechuan cooking.
Encyclopedia
Szechuan cuisine, Sichuan cuisine, or Szechwan cuisine ( or ) is a style of Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine is any of several styles originating in the regions of China, some of which have become highly popular in other parts of the world – from Asia to the Americas, Australia, Western Europe and Southern Africa...

 originating in the Sichuan Province
Sichuan
' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

 of southwestern China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 famed for bold flavors, particularly the pungency and spiciness resulting from liberal use of garlic
Garlic
Allium sativum, commonly known as garlic, is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and rakkyo. Dating back over 6,000 years, garlic is native to central Asia, and has long been a staple in the Mediterranean region, as well as a frequent...

 and chili pepper
Chili pepper
Chili pepper is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. The term in British English and in Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia and other Asian countries is just chilli without pepper.Chili peppers originated in the Americas...

s, as well as the unique flavour of the Sichuan peppercorn (花椒). Peanut
Peanut
The peanut, or groundnut , is a species in the legume or "bean" family , so it is not a nut. The peanut was probably first cultivated in the valleys of Peru. It is an annual herbaceous plant growing tall...

s, sesame paste, and ginger
Ginger
Ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, consumed as a delicacy, medicine, or spice. It lends its name to its genus and family . Other notable members of this plant family are turmeric, cardamom, and galangal....

 are also prominent ingredients in Szechuan cooking. Although the region is now romanized
Romanization
In linguistics, romanization or latinization is the representation of a written word or spoken speech with the Roman script, or a system for doing so, where the original word or language uses a different writing system . Methods of romanization include transliteration, for representing written...

 as Sichuan, the cuisine is still often spelled Szechuan or Szechwan in North America. There are many local variations of Sichuan cuisine within Sichuan Province and the Chongqing Municipality, which was politically part of Sichuan until 1997. The four best known regional sub-styles are Chongqing
Chongqing
Chongqing is a major city in Southwest China and one of the five national central cities of China. Administratively, it is one of the PRC's four direct-controlled municipalities , and the only such municipality in inland China.The municipality was created on 14 March 1997, succeeding the...

 style, Chengdu
Chengdu
Chengdu , formerly transliterated Chengtu, is the capital of Sichuan province in Southwest China. It holds sub-provincial administrative status...

 style, Zigong
Zigong
Zigong , ancient name Ziliujing and Gongjing, is a prefecture-level city and the third largest city in Sichuan Province, in southwest China.-Geography:...

 style, and Buddhist vegetarian style. UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 has declared the city of Chengdu to be a city of Gastronomy in 2011, mainly because of its Szechuan style of cooking.

History

Sichuan cuisine originating from Sichuan, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 is sometimes known as "heavenly country" due to its abundance of food and natural resources. Based on at least one ancient Chinese account, "people of Sichuan uphold good flavor, and they are fond of hot and spicy taste." Despite Sichuan cuisine reputation as being spicy, only a small portion of the food is spicy and according to at least one Chinese culinary writer the Sichuan cuisine is composed of seven basic flavors: Sour, pungent, hot, sweet, bitter, aromatic, and salty. Generally throughout its history, there have been five different type of Sichuan foods: Sumptuous banquet, ordinary banquet, popularized food, home-style food, and food snacks. Sichuan cuisine has changed little over the years and remains a staple of Chinese cuisine.

Preparations

Szechuan cuisine often contains food preserved through pickling
Pickling
Pickling, also known as brining or corning is the process of preserving food by anaerobic fermentation in brine to produce lactic acid, or marinating and storing it in an acid solution, usually vinegar . The resulting food is called a pickle. This procedure gives the food a salty or sour taste...

, salting
Salting (food)
Salting is the preservation of food with dry edible salt. It is related to pickling . It is one of the oldest methods of preserving food, and two historically significant salt-cured foods are dried and salted cod and salt-cured meat.Salting is used because most bacteria, fungi and other potentially...

, and drying
Drying (food)
Drying is a method of food preservation that works by removing water from the food, which inhibits the growth of microorganisms and hinders quality decay. Drying food using sun and wind to prevent spoilage has been practised since ancient times, and was the earliest form of food curing...

 and is generally spicy due to heavy application of chilli oil. The Sichuan peppercorn huājiāo 花椒 ('flower pepper') is commonly used. Szechuan pepper has an intensely fragrant, citrus-like flavour and produces a "tingly-numbing" sensation in the mouth. Also common are garlic
Garlic
Allium sativum, commonly known as garlic, is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and rakkyo. Dating back over 6,000 years, garlic is native to central Asia, and has long been a staple in the Mediterranean region, as well as a frequent...

, chili
Chili pepper
Chili pepper is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. The term in British English and in Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia and other Asian countries is just chilli without pepper.Chili peppers originated in the Americas...

, ginger
Ginger
Ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, consumed as a delicacy, medicine, or spice. It lends its name to its genus and family . Other notable members of this plant family are turmeric, cardamom, and galangal....

, star anise
Star anise
Illicium verum, commonly called Star anise, star aniseed, or Chinese star anise, is a spice that closely resembles anise in flavor, obtained from the star-shaped pericarp of Illicium verum, a small native evergreen tree of northeast Vietnam and southwest China...

 and other spicy herbs, plants and spices. Broad bean chili paste
Doubanjiang
Doubanjiang is a spicy, salty paste made from fermented broad beans, soybeans, salt, rice, and various spices. Doubanjiang exists in plain and spicy versions, with the latter containing red chili peppers and called la doubanjiang .It is used particularly in Sichuan cuisine, and in fact, the people...

  is also a staple seasoning in Sichuan cuisine. The region's cuisine has also been the originator of several prominent sauces widely used in Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine is any of several styles originating in the regions of China, some of which have become highly popular in other parts of the world – from Asia to the Americas, Australia, Western Europe and Southern Africa...

 as a whole today, including yuxiang
Yuxiang
Yuxiang is a seasoning mixture in Chinese cuisine, and also refers to the resulting sauce in which meat or vegetables are cooked in. It is said to have originated in Sichuan cuisine, but has since spread to other regional Chinese cuisines...

 (魚香), mala
Sichuan mala
Mala sauce refers to a popular Chinese oily spicy and numbing sauce which consists of Sichuanese peppercorn, chili pepper and various spices simmered with oil....

 (麻辣), and guaiwei
Guaiwei
Guaiwei is a seasoning mixture in Szechuan cuisine of China. Although it is popular in the Sichuan province, it is seldom used outside of the region's cuisine, unlike yuxiang, another seasoning mixture of the region...

 (怪味).

Common preparation techniques in Szechuan cuisine include stir frying
Stir frying
Stir frying is an umbrella term used to describe two Chinese cooking techniques for preparing food in a wok: chǎo and bào . The term stir-fry was introduced into the English language by Buwei Yang Chao, in her book How to Cook and Eat in Chinese, to describe the chǎo technique...

, steaming
Steaming
Steaming is a method of cooking using steam. Steaming is considered a healthy cooking technique and capable of cooking almost all kinds of food.-Method:...

 and braising
Braising
Braising , is a combination cooking method using both moist and dry heat; typically the food is first seared at a high temperature and then finished in a covered pot with a variable amount of liquid, resulting in a particular flavour...

, but a complete list would include more than 20 distinct techniques. Beef
Beef
Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle. Beef can be harvested from cows, bulls, heifers or steers. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of the Middle East , Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and is also important in...

 is somewhat more common in Szechuan cuisine than it is in other Chinese cuisines, perhaps due to the prevalence of ox
Ox
An ox , also known as a bullock in Australia, New Zealand and India, is a bovine trained as a draft animal. Oxen are commonly castrated adult male cattle; castration makes the animals more tractable...

en in the region. Stir-fried beef is often cooked until chewy, while steamed beef is sometimes coated with rice flour to produce a very rich gravy. Sichuan cuisine also utilizes various bovine and porcine organs as ingredients such as intestine
Intestine
In human anatomy, the intestine is the segment of the alimentary canal extending from the pyloric sphincter of the stomach to the anus and, in humans and other mammals, consists of two segments, the small intestine and the large intestine...

, arteries, the head, tongue, skin, and liver in addition to other commonly utilized portions of the meat.

Representative dishes

Some well-known Szechuan dishes include Gongbao or Kung Pao chicken
Kung Pao chicken
Gong Bao chicken , a late Qing Dynasty official. Born in Guizhou, Ding served as head of Shandong province and later as governor of Sichuan province. His title was Gōng Bǎo , or palatial guardian. The name "Kung Pao" chicken is derived from this title....

 and Twice Cooked Pork
Twice Cooked Pork
Twice cooked pork , along with Mapo Dofu , hot pot and Kung Pao chicken , is a well-known Sichuan-style Chinese dish....

. Although many dishes live up to their spicy reputation, there are a large percentage of recipes that use little or no hot spice
Spice
A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for flavor, color, or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents their growth. It may be used to flavour a dish or to hide other flavours...

s at all, including dishes such as Tea Smoked Duck.

In the following table, if there is a difference between the two, simplified Chinese will be presented first, followed by traditional Chinese, and finally pinyin.
English Literal meaning (if not implied in the English name) Chinese
Kung Pao chicken
Kung Pao chicken
Gong Bao chicken , a late Qing Dynasty official. Born in Guizhou, Ding served as head of Shandong province and later as governor of Sichuan province. His title was Gōng Bǎo , or palatial guardian. The name "Kung Pao" chicken is derived from this title....

宫保鸡丁/宮保雞丁 (gōngbǎo jīdīng)
Tea smoked duck 樟茶鸭/樟茶鴨 (zhāngchá yā)
Twice cooked pork
Twice Cooked Pork
Twice cooked pork , along with Mapo Dofu , hot pot and Kung Pao chicken , is a well-known Sichuan-style Chinese dish....

回锅肉/回鍋肉 (huíguōròu)
Mapo dofu 麻婆豆腐 (mápó dòufǔ)
Sichuan hotpot
Hot pot
Hot pot , less commonly Chinese fondue or steamboat, refers to several East Asian varieties of stew, consisting of a simmering metal pot of stock at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table...

四川火锅/四川火鍋 (Sìchuān huǒguō)
Fuqi Feipian
Fuqi Feipian
Fuqi feipian is a popular Sichuan dish, served cold or at room temperature, which is made of thinly sliced beef and beef offal. Common ingredients in the modern version include beef heart, tongue and tripe, and a generous amount of various spices, including Szechuan peppercorns. True to its...

Cold Beef Tripe 夫妻肺片 (fūqī fèipiàn)
Spicy deep-fried chicken 辣子鸡/辣子雞 (làzǐjī)
Shuizhu
Shuizhu
Shuizhuroupian is a Chinese dish which originated from the cuisine of Sichuan province and the name literally means "water-cooked meat slices". The preparation of this dish usually involves some sort of meat , chili pepper, and a large amount of vegetable oil.The meat is prepared with water,...

 dishes
Water cooked dishes 水煮 (shuǐzhǔ)
Dan dan noodles
Dan dan noodles
Dandan noodles or Dan Dan Mian is a classic dish originating from Chinese Sichuan cuisine...

担担面/擔擔麵 (dàn​dàn​ miàn​)
Bon bon chicken 棒棒鸡/棒棒雞 (Bàngbàng jī)

See also

  • Chinese cuisine
    Chinese cuisine
    Chinese cuisine is any of several styles originating in the regions of China, some of which have become highly popular in other parts of the world – from Asia to the Americas, Australia, Western Europe and Southern Africa...

  • Hunan cuisine
    Hunan cuisine
    Hunan cuisine, sometimes called Xiang cuisine , consists of the cuisines of the Xiang River region, Dongting Lake and western Hunan Province, in China. Hunan cuisine consists of three styles:...

  • List of Chinese Cuisine Names
  • Chen Kenmin
    Chen Kenmin
    Chen Kenmin was a Japanese chef of Chinese origin, also known as the father of Chen Kenichi, the Iron Chef Chinese on the television show Iron Chef....

  • List of Chinese dishes
  • Cooking
    Cooking
    Cooking is the process of preparing food by use of heat. Cooking techniques and ingredients vary widely across the world, reflecting unique environmental, economic, and cultural traditions. Cooks themselves also vary widely in skill and training...

  • Chinatown, Flushing
    Chinatown, Flushing
    Chinatown, Flushing, or Flushing Chinatown , in the Flushing area of the borough of Queens in New York City, is one of the largest and fastest growing ethnic Chinese enclaves outside of Asia, as well as within New York City itself...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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