Chongqing is one of the most notable city in China for spicy food. Its cuisine is also known as Chuan Cuisine, owing its name to Sichuan province where it formerly belonged. Today Chongqing is a direct-controlled municipality of China (like Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin). Like Sichuan cuisine, Chongqing dishes are made with plenty of chilli oil and Sichuan peppercorns among other ingredients.
Although Chongqing dishes are mostly loved by the locals, their spicy flavour is not easily accepted by outsiders. The Sichuan peppercorns used in the dishes are extremely spicy and can cause a mouth-numbing feeling. But don’t worry, this feeling will go away after a short time.
3 Mouth-Numbing Chongqing Dishes To Try
1. Xiao Mian (小面), Chongqing Street Noodles
Xiao Mian is a popular spicy noodle dish originated from Chongqing. It consists of plain noodles seasoned with vinegar, red oil, ginger, scallion and sugar. Sometimes Xiao Mian may also be topped with braised beef or fried minced meat. People of Chongqing are particularly fond of Xiao Mian in the morning. They believe it provides them with the energy needed to start a new day. Although we are not sure of the health benefits, we’d still recommend trying this Chongqing food.
2. Spicy Hot Pot (麻辣火锅)
Hotpot is one of the most popular foods in Sichuan and almost everywhere else in China. Chongqing hotpot especially offers a mouth-burning and tongue-numbing feeling, making it popular among Sichuan locals. Spicy hotpot comes with a spicy broth with different kinds of raw seafood, meat and vegetables on the side. Those ingredients need to be poached in the boiling broth till they are cooked. Once cooked, dip them in the various dipping sauces and they are ready to eat.
3. Chongqing Hot and Sour Cellophane Noodles
Chongqing hot and sour cellophane noodles are offered by many casual restaurants and even street vendors in Chongqing. They can be seen everywhere around the city. The mixture of its spicy, salty, sour and garlic tastes has gained popularity not only in Chongqing, but also in other provinces of China.
Chongqing hot and sour cellophane noodles are easy to prepare. It is ready to be served in minutes simply by adding noodles and all the ingredients, including vegetables, peanuts, soy beans, garlic and minced pork to the soup base.
You have to try spicy Chongqing dishes at least once if you love spicy food. It will be a spicy experience you won’t forget! You can even purchase a pre-packaged seasoning to recreate the flavour at home.