Try these tasty and authentic Szechuan recipes for your next Chinese meal. From spicy eggplant in garlic sauce to classic steamed pork belly, there's something for everyone!
🇨🇳 About Szechuan Food
Szechuan cuisine, or Sichuan cuisine, comes from China's Sichuan province and is considered one of the best in the world.
It's renowned for its hot and spicy flavors, using ingredients like garlic, red chiles, and special Sichuan peppercorns that make your mouth tingle.
Szechuan food is characterized by fresh ingredients, various cooking techniques, and many unique flavor combinations.
One popular flavor is called "ma la," which means numbing spicy. Another one is "yu xiang" or "fish fragrant." Despite its name, it doesn't taste like fish. It's more like a mix of spicy, sour, salty, and a bit sweet.
In this roundup, you'll find stir-fries, boiled dishes, steamed dishes, braised dishes, and more.
This eggplant recipe features tender, umami-rich eggplant soaked in an authentic Szechuan sauce. It's one of the most famous Szechuan dishes.
The dish is known for its "Yu Xiang" or "Fish Fragrant" flavor, which is achieved through the use of pickled chili paste, ginger, garlic, scallions, sugar, and vinegar.
This Pork and Celery Stir-Fry is a classic dish found in Sichuanese households. It's easy to make and full of great flavors and textures.
Its primary flavor comes from the use of doubanjiang, an essential Sichuanese condiment.
Serve this dish with plain white rice for an easy weeknight meal!
This recipe features fish boiled in an intensely spicy, numbing, and aromatic broth. Boiling fish might sound boring, but it's super delicious.
The broth is made with dried chili peppers, Sichuan peppercorn, and doubanjiang. The fish is thinly sliced and quickly cooked in the broth until tender and juicy.
The dish is finished by pouring hot oil over the fish and the broth to cook the spices and unleash their flavor.
This classic Chinese restaurant dish features big tiger prawns in a spicy, vibrant, and tangy sauce.
The sauce is made from garlic, ginger, doubanjiang, Hoisin sauce, and ketchup. Ketchup might seem inauthentic, but it's actually super common in Chinese food.
This is the dish my mother made many times growing up in our Sichuanese household.
It's a classic Chinese steamed pork dish with preserved mustard (mei cai). The fat from the pork belly moistens the preserved vegetables and gives them a strong aroma.
This Sichuan-style Kung Pao Chicken is one of the most popular chicken dishes.
Its flavor comes from dry-frying red chiles and Szechuan peppercorns and mixing them with aromatic ingredients like garlic and ginger.
The tender chicken cubes are coated with a salty and sour sauce and finished with roasted peanuts.
Here's a quick and simple "dry-fried" chicken dish. It's crispy, flavorful, and one of my favorite Szechuan recipes. It has chicken, dried chilies, and Sichuan peppercorns.
Serve it with rice to balance the heat, or enjoy it on its own as a tasty snack. This recipe simplifies the traditional method, making it practical for home cooking.
8. Mapo Tofu
Tender tofu cooked in an aromatic, spicy sauce with minced meat. This recipe demonstrates how to make Mapo tofu the traditional way.
This recipe is unique in that it uses ground chicken rather than pork or beef. However, it should be clear that any type of minced meat can be used for this recipe!
This recipe is for Chinese Braised Fish (Hong Shao Yu), a dish often enjoyed during Chinese New Year for its symbolic meaning of abundance. You can make it in about 35 minutes, and it results in a tasty fish dish with a flavorful sauce.
10. Sichuan Jelly
Sichuan jelly is a traditional snack from Nanchong City in Sichuan province. It's a popular cold dish for summer, known for its sour and spicy flavor.
To make them, you can use either mung bean starch or fresh mung beans. If using fresh mung beans, soak them for at least 4 hours, blend them, and separate the starch water.
Mix the starch with water, heat until jelly-like, cool, and cut into strips. Serve the noodles with a spicy and savory Sichuan-style chili oil dressing.
Did you enjoy these Szechuan Recipes? Be sure to check out the other delicious recipes on this blog by checking out our Recipe Index.