Sichuan Cuisine-More than Spicy

When we mention Japanese food we know Sushi(non-spicy).

When we mention Italian food we know spaghetti(non-spicy).

When we mention Beijing food we know Pekin Duck(non-spicy).

When we mention Sichuan food we know hot pot(spicy).

When you decide to move to Chengdu in China, I guess you will first look up a lot of information such as food, apartments, weather, people and so on.

When you look up the food information online, you will find that most of them are talking about how spicy the sichuan cuisine is. Maybe you start to worry how can you survive in this spicy food city. But is that ture? Is the sichuan food all spicy?

If you already lived in Chengdu for a long time, maybe you know Chengdu food better. But some people who already lived in Chengdu for a long time still think Sichuan food is just spicy.

So what is Sichuan Cuisine?

Sichuan Cuisine, originated from the South western region of China, is the most widely served cuisine in China itself. We have a saying: ”eating in China, while the flavors are in Sichuan”. The Sichuan food mainly has six flavors: ma(numb), la(spicy), tian(sweet), xian(salty), suan(sour) and ku(bitter).  Sichuan food uses these six basic flavors to creat more than 20 different compound flavors. The dishes of Sichuan cuisine are famous for their deep and rich flavours, especially the taste of Sichuan pepper which is rare in other regional cuisines.

Most of the people think Sichuan Cuisine is all about chili heat and the numbing taste of Sichuan pepper. But it’s not. We describe the Sichuan Cuisine as “ yi cai yi ge, bai cai bai wei” which means each dish has its own style, a hundred dishes have a hundred different flavors.

The most famous dishes such as hot pot, mapo tofu, water-poached fish. These are spicy ones. Today we would like to share some different Sichuan cuisine to you.

Sweet and Sour flavor(tang cu wei):  black vinegar, sugar, soy sauce along with ginger, garlic, scallion, salt and wet starch are the key ingredients.

You can see there’s no chili or pepper inside this one. The most popular dishes include tang cu yu(sweet and sour fish) and tang cu li ji(sweet and sour pork).

sweet and sour fish and pork


















Smoky flavor(yan xun wei)

This one maily burns straw, cypress’s branchs, tea leaves,camphor tree leaves and bits of wood to produce dense smoke to make the meat. The most popular dishes include zhang cha ya( camphor tree duck) and xiang chang(smoked sausage).

zhangcha duck

Fish flavor (yu xiang wei): There’s no fish used in yu xiang wei. Pickled red chilies(no spicy), vinegar, sugar,and soy sauce along with ginger, garlic, and scallion are the key ingredients. The popular dishes include  yu xiang qie zi(fish flavor eggplant) and yu xiang rou si (fish flavor pork slivers).

The above are some typical non-spicy sichuan flavors. Except those main dishes, we would like to share some non-spicy snacks, too.


Egg Pancake(dan hong gao): flour, egg and suggar are the main ingredients. You can choose the pie such as sweet sesame and peanut,dried meat floss, pickle and so on.

Sticky rice cake with black sugar(hong tang ci ba): sticky rice, black sugar along with soybean meal are the key ingredients.

Sichuan-style Pie(guo kui): flour, egg, minced pork or beef meat, scallion are the main ingredients.

There’s so many non-spicy sichuan dishes, I hope you can grab the chance to try as much as possible when you live in Chengdu.