Chongqing was selected as the new capital during China’s War of Resistance in 1938. Numerous government offices relocated there from Nanjing, and friendly powers sent supplies as soon as they could.
This charming building dates back to Chongqing’s open port days of 1920, featuring walls supported by pillars featuring the traditional “grass dragon” motif found on ceramic pieces from that era.
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Chongqing Chicken with Sichuan Peppercorns
Chongqing, in southwestern China, is famous for its spicy cuisine. A typical Chongqing dish consists of wine-marinated chicken with chilies and Sichuan peppercorns; their flavor combines perfectly with the heat from chilies for an unforgettable dining experience that will have your mouth watering long after you’ve finished eating.
Prep time for this dish is straightforward and includes rinsing and cutting the chicken into bite-size pieces before marinating it with salt, black pepper, light soy sauce, cooking wine, and sweet potato starch. Once marinated, this chicken will then be deep-fried in oil until fully cooked before being finished off with garlic, ginger, and scallion whites before finally being served up to you and enjoyed by everyone at your next gathering!
This dish can become quite spicy depending on how hot and how many dried chilies you use. Therefore, it’s wise to start with fewer dried chilies than you initially anticipate needing; adding more later won’t ruin its delicate flavors!
To create this delicious meal, preheat your oven to 200oF and follow the steps outlined above for chicken preparation. Bake the dish for 30 minutes before serving with steamed rice and either bok choy or broccoli to soak up its beautiful juices!
Although there are various recipes for this dish, most involve coating chicken in a light batter before deep-frying it in oil. This recipe uses an alternative approach that produces crispier chicken with reduced amounts of oil required. You can further save oil consumption by opting for non-stick pans.
Dan Dan Noodles
Dan dan noodles are an authentic Sichuan street food dish. Packed with spicy, smoky, numbing flavor and easy preparation time – perfect when craving Chinese food, but don’t feel like waiting for takeout! They feature fresh, thin wheat noodles tossed with chili oil, ground Sichuan peppercorns, sesame paste, and ground pork, along with fermented pickled mustard greens. Dan dan noodles can easily be made within 30 minutes! This easy meal can satisfy that craving when a Chinese takeout takeover can’t.
Dan Dan noodles may have originated with a Sichuan native who, while away from home, found comfort in making and selling these noodles on trains to commuters as a means to reduce his homesickness. Their distinctive spicy-numbing combination made the noodles extremely popular with locals everywhere they lived, becoming an instant comfort food.
To make dan noodles, first, prepare the sauce and ground pork ahead of time before boiling the noodles and heating the pork before serving. This recipe can easily accommodate large groups as the sauce and ground pork can be stored in your fridge for two days prior to being needed for serving.
Prep the noodles and ground pork ahead of time, but wait to add any soy sauce until right before you want to serve the dish. That will allow your pork more time to marinate and develop its dark brown hue without overusing soy sauce – this ensures it remains moist and chewy rather than becoming dry and tough!
Yu cai is the main component in a bowl of dan dan noodles and one of the three most famous preserved vegetables from Sichuan cuisine. It is similar to kimchi in terms of texture and saltiness but without being as spicy. Yu Cai should be part of every kitchen in Sichuan since its unique flavors add depth to different dishes – available both locally and online. You can purchase it at most Asian markets or order it directly online.
Green Onion Pancakes
These green onion pancakes (cong you bing) are a favorite street food found in many Chinese restaurants. This simple recipe yields beautifully crisp and flaky pancakes brushed lightly with miso for extra umami flavor, filled with crisp scallions and sesame seeds for optimal taste! A tasty snack or breakfast, they pair perfectly with braised beef noodle soup or pork congee as a satisfying meal option!
These scallion pancakes are prepared using all-purpose flour, salt, and water to form a dough that’s then kneaded by hand until smooth before resting for 20 minutes. Next, it is divided into four equal parts, and each is then rolled into a fragile circle about 1/8 inch thick before being coated with oil and sprinkled with chopped green onions for a spicy aroma. An oil coating also helps seal in these spicy and aromatic herbs to stay moist while cooking.
To create pancakes, heat a pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, place one pancake into the hot pan using chopsticks to swirl it and prevent sticking. Once one side has begun to brown, flip it with a spatula and continue cooking until both sides have done so – this should take about 2-3 minutes per side.
Traditional scallion pancakes are traditionally prepared using lard, lending the dish a delicate texture and fragrant flavor. You may opt to substitute the lard with rendered chicken fat or vegetable oil instead if preferred. This delicious breakfast treat can also be found at Chongqing houses throughout China.
These scallion pancakes are served with a tart vinegar-based dipping sauce that’s common to Chinese cuisine – the vinegar adds depth of flavor while counterbalancing any sweetness from scallions. It makes an essential accompaniment for these dishes!
Fried Rice Cakes
Chewy oval rice cakes tossed with an Asian soy-based sauce are an easy dish that can be put together in under 30 minutes! Plus, it’s vegetarian- and gluten-friendly!
You should already have most of the ingredients needed for this dish in your pantry and refrigerator. It’s perfect when you want something easy yet flavorful to satisfy that quick craving you may be having, plus an ideal way to experiment with Chinese rice cakes (they can be challenging to work with when made from scratch but take on all sorts of delicious flavor with every new recipe you try!)
Nian gao (pronounced similar to “higher year”) is traditionally eaten during Chinese New Year to bring good fortune and luck, yet can also be enjoyed throughout the year. Steamed or stir-fried cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, and pork are often combined into this tasty dish, but any vegetables can be substituted easily! You can make this quick meal in under 30 minutes, making it great for busy families!
For a softer texture, rice cakes can be steamed instead of sauteing them for best results. If using dried varieties, soak in water for at least 15 minutes (preferably overnight in the fridge) prior to refrigerating them; fresh versions do not require this step.
To prepare this dish, heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat and combine ginger and half of the green onions before stirring in pork pieces until the mixture begins to sizzle, approximately 30 seconds later.
Add the scallions and bok choy/cabbage, stirring for another 30 seconds until tender. Remove to a plate if the bok choy has reached that state; otherwise, add several teaspoons of mushroom soaking water or chicken broth as needed to soften further.
If the bok choy is still firm, add rice cakes and stir fry until they soften, about three minutes. If they remain firm after this point, continue stirring for two or three more minutes before serving immediately with julienned radish and chopped green onion garnish.