WildChina Twitter Live Q+A, Question 4: Sichuan’s Spicy Sauces

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One of the joys of traveling to China certainly lies in the variety of food that travelers can consume here. From noodles to dumplings, soups to sautees, meat skewers to elaborate fish platters, sweet to sour flavors, regional cuisines provide something for every taste.

In particular, a well-known characteristic of Chinese cuisine is its la, or spicy, flavors. Chili and other types of peppers abound in a multitude of vegetable and meat dishes; spices are often mixed in with soup and noodle broths; and if there isn’t enough kick to your food in the first place, restaurants always put a little extra pot of lajiao (hot pepper) sauce on your table.

WildChina Twitter Live Q+A, Question 4: Sichuan's Spicy Sauces
Want that dish a bit spicier? Add some Sichuan chili sauce for an explosive of hot flavor

If you crave truly tear-inducing spicy food, take a trip to China’s Sichuan province. Famous for its various peppercorns and chilies, Sichuan food is certainly some of the spiciest that the country has to offer.

While in Sichuan, try some of these sauces, spices and condiments to make your mouth tingle, eyes water, and senses explode:

1) Doubanjiang / Chili Bean Sauce: Chilies – lots of them – and soy beans make up this paste-like sauce.

2) Lajiaoyou / Chili Oil: Used in both hot and cold noodle and soup dishes, chili oil is made by putting chilies in hot oil. The oil absorbs the chili flavor, and thus becomes a spicy condiment.

3) Mala / “Spicy and Numbing”: This combination of Sichuan pepper and chili pepper gives its consumers a tingling sensation, in addition to the spiciness.

4) Sichuan Peppercorns: Find peppercorns native to the region in Sichuan Hot Pot broths and soups to add extra bursts of flavor.


Photo credit: Cook with Kelly

The WildChina Twitter Live Q+A question series is a collection of five questions either posed or inspired by WildChina’s Twitter Live Q+A session on Wednesday, November 11. If you have questions about China Travel, follow @WildChina on Twitter and tweet us your query. We are always happy to help!

This question was inspired by a question by @anitanarayan regarding spicy regional cuisines and their sauces.

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