Chinese dishes have been renowned both at home and abroad, which inspires many foreigners' affection for the country. And what they like most are spicy dishes with a special stimulating flavour that makes them sweat or even scream. So, what spicy dishes should they try?
1. Mapo Tofu, Sichuan
The dish is made with a chili bean sauce, tofu and ground pork and a liberal sprinkling of the mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorn – a mainstay in Sichuan and Chongqing cooking.
2. Dan Dan Noodles, Sichuan
The authentic dan dan noodle dish is made with the fermented black bean chili sauce, ground pork, a dollop of raw minced garlic and crunchy peanut kernels, and is usually topped off with scallions and cilantro. The sauce is placed at the bottom of an empty bowl, unseasoned al dente noodles are put over the sauce and the diner is charged with the task of mixing it all up.
3. Steamed Chicken with Chili Sauce, Sichuan
Literally translated as "saliva chicken", because saliva will be dripping from your mouth when you even think about this dish.
Boiled chicken is marinated in a chili and sesame oil sauce that features 10 spices and sauces, making it a fiery yet mouth-watering dish.
4. Hot and Sour Glass Noodles, Chongqing
This inexpensive spicy snack is beloved all over China. And it even doesn't require any cooking techniques: just stew sweet potato noodles in the soup made of soybeans, chili paste, copious amounts of vinegar, and chili oil.
5. Ganguo, Hunan
Choose from a variety of meats, vegetables and tofu to be quickly stir-fried and served sizzling in a mini wok.
Hunan food is less oily than Sichuan food and the abundance of fresh red and green chili peppers, scallions, ginger and garlic make Hunan food arguably the spiciest cuisine in China.
6. Hot and Sour Fish Soup, Guizhou
A Guizhou favorite is the hot and sour fish soup, which is made with freshwater fish and tomatoes, local Guizhou red chili peppers, chili oil and garlic and scallions.
7. Hunan Spicy Beef, Hunan
Hunan people know a thing or two about cooking beef since it is the second-largest supplier of beef in China. The regional beef dish is Hunan Spicy Beef, which is stir fried with a mixture of fresh beef, fresh chili and deep fried chili peppers.
8. Er kuai Spicy Chicken, Yunnan
This dish is little known outside of Yunnan province but Chinese foodies rave about er kuai, a savory rice cake made of glutinous rice paste that is steamed and then cut into small cubes and stir fried with fresh chili peppers and morsels of deep fried chicken.
9. Hotpot, Chongqing
It's tasty because there's a layer of rendered beef fat in the kitchen-sink sized hotpot at the center of the table. Dried and fresh red chili peppers and 20 other herbs and spices are added into the hotpot soup, ensuring that whatever meat, vegetable, noodle or tofu you dip into the hotpot you will be rewarded with a spicy aftertaste that will linger long.
10. Yuxiang tofu, Sichuan
Never mind the fact that there is no fish used in the preparation of this dish.
Red chili bean paste, sugar, garlic, ginger, onions and soy sauce are stewed with deep fried tofu and fresh capsicum. This dish can be made substituting tofu for eggplant or shredded pork.
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