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Connoisseur Chronicles

Alex

Food blogger based in Cambridge, UK. Passionate about trying out recipes from all over the world, tasting drinks of all sorts and dining out in England and beyond. Read More

Sichuan-style Feast

There is no way around the province of Sichuan, when discovering authentic Chinese food. Highly aromatic dishes full of chili, ginger and Sichuan pepper are the core of the culinary heritage. No wonder that Chengdu, the capitol of the southwest province, was declared the second UNESCO City of Gastronomy in 2010. In Chinese culture, dishes are usually shared among all diners, so this feast is ideal for 4 people, who would like to get a taste of some of the most popular Sichuan dishes: Kung Pao Chicken, Mapo Tofu and Fish-fragrant Aubergine with Stir-fried Choy Sum and Jasmine Rice on the side.  

Connoisseur Chronicles Sichaun Feast

Make sure to combine all the chopping parts in the preparation step, if you are cooking the whole feast, or just follow the individual recipes and scale up the ingredients proportionally.

Ingredients Connoisseur Chronicles Sichaun Feast

 

Kung Pao Chicken

Ingredients for 4 (as part of a feast):

  • 350g chicken breast, diced into 2 cm cubes
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine (or any other spirit like vodka, sherry etc.)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cucumber, diced into 1cm cubes
  • 1 carrot, diced into 1cm cubes
  • 2 spring onions, chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 10g dried chilis, chopped into 1 cm pieces
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 50g roasted peanuts

Kung Pao Chicken Connoisseur Chronicles Sichaun Feast

Preparation

  1. To make the chicken marinade, mix the egg white, 2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp corn starch, rice wine and 2 tbsp soy sauce. Put the diced chicken in for at least 20 minutes.
  2. For the sauce, mix 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp corn starch, 2 tbsp water, the sesame oil, vinegar, and sugar.
  3. Heat a pan with 2 tbsp oil to medium heat and brown the chicken. Set aside.
  4. In the same pan, fry the ginger, garlic, and dried chili with 2 tbsp oil on high heat for 1 minute.
  5. Add the diced cucumber and carrot and stir-fry for another 4 minutes.
  6. Put the chicken back and add the peanuts, spring onion and the sauce. Bring the mixture to high heat and coat everything with the sauce.

 

Mapo Tofu

Ingredients for 4 (as part of a feast):

  • 250g tofu, diced into 1 cm cubes
  • 50g minced beef
  • 2 tbsp chili bean paste (Dou Ban Jiang)
  • 1 tbsp Sichuan pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced

Mapo Tofu Connoisseur Chronicles Sichaun Feast

Preparation

  1. Boil the tofu in salt water on medium heat for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a pan with 2 tbsp oil to medium heat. Add the Sichuan pepper, garlic, ginger, and chili bean paste and stir-fry briefly.
  3. Add beef mince and fry until getting crispy.
  4. Add the soy sauce and cook the mixture briefly.
  5. Add 200ml water and the tofu. Simmer for 10 minutes, until the sauce has reduced by a third.
  6. Add the sesame oil and sprinkle with spring onions.

 

Fish-fragrant Aubergine (Yu Xiang Qie Zi)

Ingredients for 4 (when part of a feast):

  • 2 aubergines
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 2 pickled green chilis, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 red chilis, thinly sliced

Fish-fragrant Aubergine Connoisseur Chronicles Sichaun Feast

Preparation

  1. Cut the aubergine into sticks of 4cm length. Sprinkle with salt, leave them for a few minutes and squeeze out the moisture with a kitchen towel.
  2. To make the sauce, mix 2 tbsp water, the corn starch, pickled chilis, vinegar, soy sauce and sugar.
  3. Heat a pan with 2 tbsp oil to medium heat and fry the ginger, garlic, and spring onion for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the aubergine and fry for another 5-10 minutes until softened.
  5. Add the sauce and bring the pan to high heat to coat the mixture with the sauce.
  6. Sprinkle with the red chilis.

 

Stir-fried Choy Sum

Ingredients for 4 (when part of a feast):

  • 200g choy sum (or other leave greens like pak choi, Chinese leaf etc.)
  • 2 dried chilis, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp Sichuan pepper

Choy Sum Connoisseur Chronicles Sichaun Feast

Preparation

  1. Blanch the choy sum in salt water for 30 seconds.
  2. Take it out, drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Heat a pan with 2 tbsp oil to medium-high heat and fry the dried chilis and Sichuan pepper for 1 minute.
  4. Add the choy sum and heat everything briefly. Season with salt.

 

Steamed Jasmine Rice

Ingredients for 4 (when part of a feast):

  • 250g Jasmine rice
  • 300g water

Preparation

  1. In a saucepan, bring the rice and water to a boil. Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for another 10-15 minutes until all water has evaporated.
  3. Fluff rice with a fork.
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