Turn up the heat with 10 must-try Sichuan dishes around Australia.
We’ve been heading to Dainty Sichuan for its fiery hot pots for years, but when we need a reprieve from the heat, we add an order of ‘Ants climbing the tree’, springy vermicelli noodles stir-fried with minced pork, fermented black beans and chilli oil. Try it for yourself at home with this authentic recipe for ants climbing the tree.
A signature Sichuan recipe is shui zhu yu, which literally means ‘Fish boiled in water’. While it might sound mild, it’s anything but – try the Sichuan boiled fish fillet at Sichuan House in Melbourne, a lip-tingling cauldron of Sichuan peppercorns, dried chillies and chilli oil. Or why not make it at home with this recipe for Sichuan boiled fish.
Want to find the fieriest dishes on Neil Perry’s regional Chinese menu at Spice Temple? Skip straight to the items highlighted in red. Your lips will be tingling after feasting on the hot, sweet, sour and numbing pork, or the hot and numbing crispy duck.
Chewy and slippery bean noodles are a classic cold Sichuan dish – and although they may be served cold, there’s nothing cooling about the Sichuan bean noodles with spicy sauce at Red Chilli in Sydney.
Dan Hong’s Mr Wong offers a broad sweep of China, but one of the Sichuan standouts is the mapo tofu of stir-fried pork mince, chilli and Sichuan pepper served on freshly steamed soy milk custard.
Hot pot is synonymous with Sichuan cuisine. Gather a group for a bubbling hot pot session at Spicy Sichuan City Hot Pot in Sydney. Choose meat, seafood, vegetables and noodles from the buffet, then cook it in your pot of spicy soup.
Bang bang by name, bang bang by nature. This authentic Sichuan starter includes velvety steamed chicken, dressed with a slick of chilli oil, cucumber, sesame, soy and peanuts. Get your fix at Sichuan Bang Bang in Brisbane, where you’ll also find mod-Sichuan dishes such as chongqing chicken with potato chips.
We could eat pork and prawn wontons in chilli oil by the bucketful – you’ll find a great version at Hutong in Melbourne, or in Queensland hightail it to Happy Boy in Brisbane for their seriously slurpable wontons. Or why not try this recipe for chilli wontons at home?
For an Australian twist on Sichuan flavours, head to Ba Guo Bu Yi in Adelaide for the braised yabbies in Sichuan sauce.
Love chilli? You’ll love the Chilli Hot Challenge and Chilli Lovers menus at Szechuan Zen Restaurant in Perth, where spicy favourites include the kung pao chicken with dried chillies and the crispy and spicy pork hock.
For more Sichuan sensations, try seven authentic Sichuan recipes for heat-loving home cooks.
Find your nearest Asian Store