6 easy Sichuan recipes to try for dinner
Fuchsia Dunlop, author of “The Food of Sichuan,” shared three variations on kung pao chicken with us. All are different — and delicious — and capture the balance of savory, sweet, sour and spicy characteristic of Sichuan food.
Although you should check out the best Sichuan restaurants in the SGV, you can make Sichuan dishes at home too. Start with these six easy recipes, including one adapted from Dunlop for Sichuan wontons in chile oil. I like to make a big batch and freeze extra uncooked dumplings and refrigerate the chili oil for an instant dinner anytime.
Dinners that come together nearly as fast start with noodles. When it’s warm out, try these chilled noodles from chef Tiantian Qiu of Hip Hot restaurant in Monterey Park and Mala Town on Sawtelle. Chicken and bean sprouts turn it into an ideal one-dish meal.
For a great version of Sichuan-style dan dan mian, check out Sang Yoon’s recipe from Lukshon. You can prepare big batches of his sauces on lazy weekends and keep them in the fridge to toss with noodles on busy weeknights. Yoon also created a modern Californian riff on Sichuan-style seasonings with this elegant lamb dish.
Chef Brandon Kida of Hinoki & the Bird did the same with this hanger steak recipe, bright with handfuls of dried red chiles.
To balance all the carbs and meat, try this Sichuan classic of dry-fried string beans. They’re the veggies you need as part of a larger meal or a nice, light dish on their own with a bowl of steamed rice.