Sichuan Cuisine emphasizes on the selection and use of ingredients and seasonings, as well as cutting techniques and temperature. The same dish would taste very different if cooked differently, even with a slight change in temperature or the amount of seasonings.
And now let’s have a look at some of the standards as detailed in the document for cooking five classical Sichuan dishes:
Sliced Meat in Boiling Spicy Soup (水煮肉片)
- The dish must be cooked with Pixian Douban (spicy fermented broad bean paste) ― the “Soul of Sichuan Cuisine”― or it will be otherwise be regarded as not authentic.
- Pixian Douban is the essential seasoning that is widely used for cooking most Sichuan dishes, such as those with tofu and fish.
- The tofu (bean curd) used in the dish should be made in the traditional way, i.e. congealed in the brine with edible gypsum.
- The dish must be thickened with water starch 2-3 times until the gravy reaches the desired thickness. Don’t break the tofu cubes while cooking.
- The dish is noted for being hot, spicy, fresh, tender and aromatic.
Fish-flavored Shredded Pork
- The fat/lean ratio of the pork selected to make this dish must be 2:8, and the pork must be cut into pieces that are 10cm long, 0.3cm wide and 0.3cm high.
Sliced Chicken with Chili Sauce (cold dish)
- The meat selected to make this dish must be from a rooster about one year of age, to ensure the succulence and tenderness.
- The dish must be served at the room temperature.
- Stir fry the pork slices in smoking hot oil until it's nicely brown and become curly. Don’t overcook (overcooked pork looks deep brown and tastes a bit too hard, while unduly cooked pork is too soft and tastes fatty).
- Tianmianjiang (sweet flour paste) must be applied to the dish when it’s stir-fried above low flame.
- It is recommended that the dish must be consumed within 10 minutes after it is cooked.
Chili, Garlic, Peppercorn: the SHIC Style of Alfredo Bendezu
Alfredo Bendezu, from Peru, came to Chengdu to learn how to cook Sichuan dishes at the Sichuan Higher Institute of Cuisine (SHIC), the only cooking school in China that offers professional and hands-on courses in Sichuan cuisine. He graduated from the institute in 2014.
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