A Chinese chef from Sichuan shares some secrets behind the Sichuan cuisine!

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AngelPolacco

Hailing from the Sichuan Province of China, Chef Meng Pu, 40, has been cooking since the age of 16 in a university in Sichuan. 

Chef Meng Pu

Pu currently works as an Executive Chinese Chef at the Shangri-La Hotel in Doha, Qatar, and is one of many talented Chinese chefs staffed by the hotel. 

The Sichuan and Cantonese cuisines are Pu’s specialties.

Although the most recognized and popular cuisine of Chinese food outside of China is Cantonese, Sichuan is also widely popular worldwide and is currently trending in China at this moment.

In the Sichuan cuisine, the two most integral ingredients are the Sichuan peppercorn and the fresh red chili from that region. They are as important and vital as salt and pepper are in the west.

Sichuan pepper is not like regular pepper, it is wild and perfumed in scent, it is also reminiscent of pine and cedar.

It has a surprising numbing effect on the tongue with a slight taste of acidic sweetness. This really has a big effect on the flavor of the food which makes it unique than just any other hot and spicy foods that you would experience in other cuisines.  

“Some of the most popular Sichuan dishes can be found at Shangri-La Hotel’s Shanghai Club. These include the Lobster Mapo Tofu, Kung Pao Chicken, Yu Xiang eggplant spring rolls, Dan Dan noodles (which is reminiscent of a Malaysian Laksa), my own name sake crispy chicken (Chef Pu’s Crispy Chicken),” said Pu. “Our poached chicken with noodles is like a Hainanese chicken and rice dish, only our version is more bold in flavor, and in my opinion much more delicious.”

Lobster Mapo Tofu

The secret behind the Sichuan cuisine lies in its sauces.

“Usually it’s in the sauce, such as a homemade sauce, that contains minced beef and chili,” Pu shared. 

The Sichuan cuisine is the spiciest out of all other regional Chinese cuisines, and is what they’re known for. Most Chinese people love spicy food.

“Chili peppers prefer the climate of Sichuan Province as it has four seasons. But winter is foggy and the average humidity is higher here than the rest of China,” Pu said. “The Chinese believe that when you eat spicy food in a hot climate, it has a cleansing effect when it makes you sweat.”

Pu has a special message for lovers of Chinese food. 

“If you appreciate spicy food as much as I do, then I welcome you to join us at Shanghai Club and let me create a special Sichuan dining experience that you will not experience anywhere else in Qatar.”

Do you love Chinese food? Have you visited any Chinese restaurants in Qatar? What's your favorite? Comment below!