Category: Poultry

Cooking With Pixian Doubanjiang: Sichuan Sauce for Grilling & Roasting

A New ‘Cue I’m not sure why I’d never thought before to add Pixian chili bean paste to my grilling marinade, because it’s a match made in BBQ heaven. Pixian doubanjiang is a combination of salt, spice and umami (in the form of fermented fava beans). Meat loves salt, most people reading this love spice, and everyone loves umami, so douban ticks all the boxes. It’s a BBQ sauce like you’ve never had before, but it doesn’t hit you over the head with any of those sensations, enhancing the meat...

Sichuan beef stir-fry

Cooking With Pixian Doubanjiang: Sichuan Sauce for Stir-Fry

A Quick-Mix, Good-With-Everything Sichuan Sauce After we launched a famous brand of handmade, 3-year-aged, Pixian chili bean paste into the U.S. market in August [2018], many, many of you reported back that you love its spicy and soulful flavor. But after making the best mapo doufu you’ve ever made, and perhaps a stellar twice-cooked pork, some of you are stumped for further ways to use it. So I’m embarking on a series called Cooking With Pixian Doubanjiang that will hopefully make it easier to utilize this super versatile burst of...

Chongqing Chicken

Chongqing Chicken Like It’s Made in Chongqing

The Truth About Sichuan Food There vs. Here At last I’ve eaten Chongqing Chicken in Chongqing, and not only was it delicious, it was revelatory. This new recipe for the dish is based on the version I had there. It won’t be for everyone—a main ingredient is crispy fried chicken skin!—so I’m not replacing my previous recipe, which I created in 2015 based on memories of Chongqing chicken I had eaten in Chengdu, where it is known as laziji (chicken with chilies). I still like that version, but I want...

Cooking With The Godmother: Laoganma Black Bean Chicken

A Sichuan “Mom Recipe” My blog is all about cooking “authentic” Sichuan food. But my definition of authentic doesn’t mean always using specific recipes, it just means cooking Sichuan food the way it would be cooked in Chengdu. So I do not feel guilty about this shortcut recipe for black bean chicken, since I know that people in Sichuan cook this way and would eat this in a heartbeat. People all over China—and increasingly the world—love Laoganma and cook with her often. My ode to The Godmother—China’s Best Chili Oils and...

Gongbao Chicken With Cashews (Gongbao Jiding, 宫保鸡丁)

Chengdu Challenge #27: The Do’s and Don’ts of Kung Pao The Mala Project (now The Mala Market blog) turns two years old this month. It hasn’t made me rich or famous (far from!), but that wasn’t the goal. The immediate goal when I started it was to be a better mom to my immigrant daughter by being a better Sichuan home cook. I did it in blog form because I thought that if I committed publicly I’d be far more likely to stick with it. And it worked! Two years on,...

Sichuan Crispy Duck (Xiangsu Ya, 香酥鸭)

Chengdu Challenge #24:  Crispy Duck for Luck Happy Year of the Monkey! Chinese New Year calls for lucky food, food that calls down health, wealth and happiness for the new year. But be careful what you wish for. The Chinese eat dumplings shaped like gold ingots, whole fish because the word for it sounds like the word for surplus, long noodles to symbolize long life, and a whole chicken to represent family togetherness. I’m especially interested in laying the groundwork for family happiness and togetherness in the coming year, so...

Chengdu Taste’s Chengdu Fried Rice (Chaofan, 炒饭)

Inspired by the SGV: Fongchong Can Cook Of the many things that inspired us on our many visits to the famed Chengdu Taste in the San Gabriel Valley this past summer, the simplest—and simplest to recreate—was their Chengdu Fried Rice. It has just three main ingredients: eggs, scallions and yacai. Their version took our favorite style of fried rice—loaded with lots of big chunks of egg—and supercharged it with lots of yacai, Sichuan’s go-to preserved vegetable. Yacai doesn’t have the sour bite or texture of a pickle, like the better...

Mouthwatering “Saliva Chicken” (Koushuiji, 口水鸡)

Chengdu Challenge #22:  You Know You Want It: Saliva Chicken Which name do you prefer for Sichuan cold chicken in red-hot chili oil? Saliva chicken (let’s translate it as “mouthwatering” chicken)?  Bobo chicken? Bon bon chicken? Bang bang chicken? From what I can tell from multiple Sichuan restaurants, cookbooks and the Web, the names are almost interchangeable, and there’s no real consensus on the ingredients and proportions in each. They are all based on homemade, high-quality chili oil (hong you), of course, and from there include varying proportions of soy...

Mala Dry Pot Chicken (Ganguoji 干锅鸡/Mala Xiangguo 麻辣香锅)

Chengdu Challenge #21:  Dry Pot, My New Favorite Meal “This is my new favorite restaurant!” my friend Carla used to proclaim almost every time we ate somewhere new in New York. That could be construed as fickle, but really it was just enthusiasm. I feel the same sometimes about these dishes—every one I cook is my new favorite. But this one, particularly, truly, is my new favorite recipe and is likely to stay that way for a while. Why? Because it’s more a method than a recipe, and because it’s easily and...

Jisi Liangmian (鸡丝凉面): Cold Noodles ft. Shredded Chicken

Chengdu Challenge #19: Jisi Liangmian, White Cloud in a Perfect Storm Fongchong’s latest obsession is these 鸡丝凉面 (jīsī liángmiàn), Cold Noodles With Shredded Chicken. It’s a regretfully boring name for something so singularly, aggressively tasty, so you’ll have to take my word for it—you really want to try this. Liangmian with chicken totally deserves a more poetic name, like Ants Climbing a Tree, another beloved Sichuan noodle. Something like, perhaps, White Cloud in a Perfect Storm. Or maybe not. But just don’t let the boring name fool you. Especially since cold...

Chongqing Chicken With Chilies (Laziji, 辣子鸡)

Chengdu Challenge #17: Chongqing Hot Chicken Below is a photo of the very first plate of Chongqing chicken—sometimes called 辣子鸡 (làzǐjī), or just chicken with chilies—I ever had. It was in Chengdu in 2007, in a famous, upscale restaurant. When the server put it down on the table, my husband and I broke into nervous laughter as we saw chunks of fried chicken sitting under an avalanche of dried chili peppers. If we were sweating now, we thought, wait until we try to polish this dish off so as not...

Chinese Golden Chicken Stew (Huangmenji, 黄焖鸡)

Chengdu Challenge #7: Caramel, Wine and Ginger Make Stew Sexy Recently we had a Chinese friend stay with us for a week who doesn’t eat spicy food. Not even a little. And this was a real challenge for me, since almost everything I make has at least a hint of spice. But we adapted that week and still ate well. I just had to call on all the dishes I make that aren’t spicy, starting with this one for Shoaxing wine and ginger chicken stew, more poetically called golden chicken stew, which...