Szechuan cuisine originates from the Sichuan province in southwest China. The complex flavors and cooking techniques produce seven flavor profiles: sweet; sour; bitter; hot; salty; aromatic and fragrant. The hot spices such as the red chili (different from the Mexican chili) stimulate the palate making it more sensitive to the flavor profiles. The primary ingredient is the Sichuan peppercorn. Other prominent ingredients are garlic, chili peppers, peanuts, sesame paste and ginger.
Sichuan Peppercorn is a berry that comes from the prickly ash tree. Despite the name, it is not related to the peppercorn or the chili pepper. It has a unique aroma with lemony overtones that create a tingly numbness in the mouth.
We are proudly to announce the original Spices restaurant has been move to 291 6th Ave,San Francisco,CA,94118(former SpicesII location),Founded in 2003, Spices is a modern Chinese restaurant specializing in traditional Hunan and Szechuan cuisine. We provide high-quality and inspired dishes from super-skilled chefs of China. Come andexperience the taste of home with our superior service and new environment.
“One way that Szechuan cooking technique differs from American or European is that we actually have two levels of both high heat and slow-cooking. It is not unusual for a Szechuan dish to go through several high heat and low heat or slow-cooking techniques before the dish is complete and presented to the table.”
“The small red chili peppers used in Szechuan cuisine differ from the red Mexican chili. It is not too spicy but it creates a warmth which opens the palate to greater sensitivity to the flavor profiles in Szechuan cuisine: sweet, sour, bitter, hot, salty, aromatic, and fragrant.”
“Szechuan cuisine is extremely technical. There are over 100 Szechuan dishes and each one is flavored differently. For example, the preparation of our renowned dish, the 1000 Chili Pepper Fillet of Fish starts with roasting all of our chilis and then combining them.”
“We then infuse our chili oils, Szechuan peppercorn oil and an onion oil. We use the highest quality flounder we can find and we simmer it all day. A properly prepared fish tastes sweet, not salty. The dish then goes thru several slow-cooking and high heat cooking techniques. The slow-cooking is for color and the high temperature is for aroma.”
“High heat technique is very difficult and not everyone can do it. It takes every moment of two weeks to train a new cook how to control it.”