3 Traditional Sichuan Dishes You Need To Try

Sichuan cuisine is popular across Australia, but the dishes commonly ordered in Chinese restaurants and from takeaways aren't always the most authentic. Restaurants have had to modify dishes to accommodate Western tastes, but you'll still find traditional dishes on the menu at any good Sichuan restaurant.

Sichuan cuisine, which originates from Southern China, uses vegetables and spices abundantly. Most dishes contain chillies and garlic, and the citrusy flavour of Sichuan pepper combines with the chillies to create the popular hot and sour dishes found throughout the region. Ginger and star anise are also used frequently, and many dishes are served with a side of pickled vegetables such as radish or daikon. Pork is commonly used, but you'll also find dishes containing chicken, beef and tofu. If you'd like to explore the traditional flavours of this cuisine, look out for these dishes next time you visit a restaurant or treat yourself to a takeaway:

Sichuan Hotpot

This hotpot consists of a richly flavoured broth made with bean paste, chillies, mushrooms and Sichuan pepper. You select the type of meat you'd like, and it's added to the broth and served with beansprouts. Sichuan hotpot is a spicy, earthy dish that can be found in homes across the region and is the perfect comfort food on a cold evening. If you're feeling adventurous, forgo chicken and order it with organ meats, such as kidney, for a truly authentic experience.

Mapo Tofu

Served in a sauce of fermented soy beans, garlic, ginger, mushrooms and water chestnuts, this tofu dish will be enjoyed by vegetarians and meat eaters alike. The slightly sour sauce and smooth tofu complement each other well, while the mushrooms add a meaty texture to the dish. Enjoy it with a side of steamed greens, such as pak choy, and rice.

Spicy Aubergine And Pork

For this dish, ground pork is stir-fried with aubergines until they are crisp and smoky before being added to a spicy sauce. The sauce contains soy, chilli paste, rice vinegar and chicken broth, so it's packed with flavour. Order a side of Sichuan green beans cooked in garlic and ginger and you have a hearty meal you won't forget in a hurry.

These are just a few examples of the traditional Sichuan dishes available in Chinese restaurants. Next time you order Chinese, give your go-to dish a miss and ask about the traditional dishes on the menu. For more information, contact Express Dragon or a similar company.