Yunnan Kitchen's Spicy Dishes Offset Cold Winter Temps

The heater may not have been working Saturday night, November 15, but the spice in Yunnan Kitchen's, located on the Lower East Side, dishes certainly warmed us up. 

Using locally sourced ingredients to create unique spins on traditional Chinese dishes, executive chef Doron Wong and chef de cuisine Jordan Harris create Yunnan-style winter dishes that include cumin beef stir fry made with Creekstone beef and served with charred okra and mantou (one of the tamer dishes on the spice scale); chili tomato rice cakes with Chinese celery, Benton's ham, and long peppers, and braised goat ma po doufu, made with pasture-raised goat, doubanjiang, and organic doufu.

Smaller dishes include pork neck and doufu soup with chili oil, lime, and mushrooms; crispy whole prawns with chrysanthemum greens and crispy shallots that were pleasantly salty and are highly recommended; and a take on the classic smashed cucumber salad topped with peanuts and doufu. These dishes are heavy on nuts, spices, and cilantro, so if those are some of your favorite flavors, then this is the place for you.

Fortunately, the staff was attentive, so when we ran out of water — which was often — it was always topped off just in time, and we were ready to tackle the next course.