What is Szechuan Cuisine?

Szechuan cuisine is a type of Chinese cuisine that comes from southwestern China

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Twice-cooked pork is a popular Szechuan dish.

Szechuan cuisine, which can also be called Sichuan cuisine or Szcehwan cuisine, is a type of Chinese cuisine that comes from the Sichuan province of southwestern China. Szechuan cuisine is typically a very spicy type of Chinese food and is also known for being very flavorful. Many Szechuan dishes incorporate a lot of garlic and chilli peppers.

Sichuan is known to have poor weather with high humidity and lots of rainy days, which is why red pepper is used in so many dishes. Red pepper helps reduce internal dampness, and so it paved the way for hot dishes to be a common thing in Szechuan cuisine. The humid climate also drives many to implement a variety of food preservation techniques including pickling, salting, drying, and smoking food.

Yet its pungency isn’t its only distinct quality; Szechuan cuisine is also well-known for its fish dishes and offers more beef dishes than other types of Chinese cuisines, which is said to be due to the abundance of oxen in the region.

Szechuan cuisine uses a variety of different cooking methods, including sautéeing, stir-frying without steaming, dry-braising, soaking in water (Pao), or frying and then braising with corn flour sauce (Hui).

Some of the most common Szechuan dishes are twice-cooked pork, spicy diced chicken with peanuts, and fish-flavored pork shred.

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