Chengdu is one of the most popular tourist destinations in China, especially for foreigner tourists, and for good reason! You can see pandas, ancient alleys and mountains while being immersed in life in China's 5th largest city. But Chengdu is maybe most known for it's deliciously spicy cuisine that utilize the Sichuan pepper. You can check out these amazing restaurants near popular tourist spots in Chengdu with this guide. Tickle your taste buds with these top 10 foods you absolutely have to try while staying in Chengdu.
You can find all of these foods and restaurants on the Spoonhunt App.
10. Cold Mung Bean Jelly 川北凉皮 Chuānběi liángpí
First on the list is another cold appetizer: Cold Mung Bean Jelly. Similar to the Sliced Tripe in Chili Oil, the spicy and numbing flavor comes from the delicious Sichuan chili oil and peppercorns, but it is balanced by the sugar and garlic. The main portion of the dish is made of mung bean starch jelly that is just a simple combination of mung bean starch boiled in water, creating a large, translucent strips.
The jelly is sliced into different thicknesses based on the restaurants preference. The texture of the jelly is slippery and the cold temperature makes for a good summer snack.
9. Dry-Fried Green Beans 干煸四季豆 Gānbiān sìjìdòu
This vegetable dish is extremely popular among locals and foreigners. When done correctly, these dry stir-fried beans should be plump with light, crispy skins. But when done incorrectly, they will be oily and limp, instead of snappy. When being stir-fried, it is tossed into the wok with a little bit of chili oil, scallions, garlic, ginger, sliced chili and peppercorns to allow the spicy and savory flavor to dry onto the green beans. Often added to the dish is small slices of pork.
8. Spicy Oil Wonton 红油抄手 Hóngyóu chāoshǒu
In true Sichuan fashion, even the Chengdu breakfast is spicy. Their signature breakfast dish is a special kind of Wonton called Spicy Oil Wonton 红油抄手 Hóng yóu chāoshǒu. While the wontons themselves are the traditional square folded skin with meat and vegetables inside, the chili oil it’s dunked in is where the taste really comes from.
Sichuan people especially love this breakfast in the winter because the spiciness of the oil warms their stomach. But don’t be afraid of the red color, these are surprisingly mild as far as Sichuan spice goes. If anything, they are more garlicky and savory with the perfect amount of spice to jumpstart your tastebuds. Every small shop uses their own homemade spicy oil recipe, giving it a unique taste every time.
7. Dan Dan Noodles 担担面 Dàndàn miàn
A quick and easy snack in Chengdu is Dan Dan Noodles. The legend goes that a man sold these special types of noodles on the street out of the baskets (担) on the pole he carried over his shoulder. Because the noodles were fairly cheap, they were named after the baskets the street vendors used. Today, they're quite popular abroad as they are in China, but the Western version is quite a bit sweeter than the original Chengdu version. The Sichuan version is a bit spicier and meatier with peanuts.
In Chengdu, there are Dan Dan Noodle vendors everywhere. You usually get it in a bowl unmixed, and it's up to you to thoroughly mix all the ingredients (or else your noodles will be dry). The strategy is to pull the noodles up with your chopsticks then tuck them underneath themselves to get the chili oil.
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