Spicy Sichuan Chicken Goes Viral on Social Media
Author: Go Chengdu 2022-10-07

In restaurants across Chengdu, China, a special dish evokes a tingling response — crispy stir-fried chicken on a plate piled high with thin red chilies.


It's called La Zi Ji, and as intimidating as it looks, it's not nearly as spicy as its appearance intimates. The chicken tastes crisp, tender, and chewy, with a thick dried red pepper-covered layer. In Chengdu, La Zi Ji was recorded in local gastronomy as early as 1909.


(Photo by CDTV)


When you take a bite of the chicken, you can feel it in your face, but it's not eye-watering — it's tongue-tingling. The dried chilies impart flavor but aren't even meant to be eaten. The tingle comes from one complex ingredient native to the region: Sichuan peppercorns. They give the chicken a citrusy, floral note, followed by a numbing, almost prickling sensation.


The dish is currently on media worldwide. The Associated Press took the lead, featuring its description and recipe. The article was also reposted by several Western media outlets, including Daily Herald, The Columbian, and The Independent.


(Photo by apnews.com)



La Zi Ji is also a social star on YouTube, and every video of it attracts many netizens' attention and comments. The average number of views of each video is around 100 million.



On Instagram, the picture and text of La Zi Ji also received a wave of praise. There are more than a thousand posts related to the topic #laziji. Foodies share their pictures, reviews, and recipes of this tasty dish.




Edited by Zhu Haiyue