The flavors of China are varied with each region of the country offering up its own signature cuisine.
A new restaurant in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood is putting the spotlight on Chengdu, China and its Sichuan cuisine. At Chicago's Chengdu Impression, owner Ryan Hu offers diverse menu items as he highlights Sichuan flavors from Chengdu, which is considered Asia's first "city of gastronomy" according to The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
On his menu, Hu features assorted dishes using imported Sichuan peppers and chile oil. Among menu items are recipes not regularly seen on many menus including Rural Style Rabbit; Beef with Wild Chili; Suan La Fen, which is vermicelli in spicy broth; Boiled Tree Treasure, featuring shrimp, scallops and fish in spicy sauce and Hot Wok Frog.
Other highlighted dishes include Sole Fillet with Tender Tofu; Sichaun String Beans; Twice Cooked Pork and Climbing Ants, which is actually ground pork in vermicelli.
Dishes such as BBQ Pork Ribs, Combo Fried Rice, Cashew Chicken, Lemon Chicken, Orange Beef and more are also offered in addition to a sushi bar on the premises. Visit chengduimpression.com
The following recipe for Beef with Wild Chili is from Ryan Hu.
Beef With Wild Chili
1 pound beef, cut into strips
1 Asian long bell pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
Pickled red chili
1 stalk celery, all the above cut into strips
Vegetable oil or (Sichuan Chili Oil), 1 1/2 teaspoons
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup cooking wine
1 piece ginger, cut into strips
Sichuan dry chili, 3 cut pieces
DIRECTIONS: Put vegetable oil into wok. When medium hot, add ginger strips, Sichuan dry chili and stir. Add beef strips and continue stirring. Stir fry about 1 minute, add remaining ingredients and keep stir-frying for about another 2-3 minutes. Add salt, soy sauce, and a few drops of cooking wine. Add sesame oil, and continue to stir about 1 minute more. Ready to serve.
From Chengdu Impression in Chicago