Li Ziqi is from Sichuan province, so the main dishes she made are mostly Sichuan food. Now let's take a look at Sichuan cuisine to see what's unique about it.
Most Sichuan dishes are spicy, although a typical meal includes non-spicy dishes to cool the palate. Sichuan cuisine is composed of seven basic flavours: sour, pungent, hot, sweet, bitter, aromatic and salty. Sichuan food is divided into five different types: sumptuous banquet, ordinary banquet, popularised food, household-style food and snacks. Milder versions of Sichuan dishes remain a staple of American Chinese cuisine.
Sichuan cuisine has bold flavours, particularly the pungency and spiciness resulting from liberal use of garlic and chili peppers, as well as the unique flavour of Sichuan pepper.
Sichuan cuisine often contains food preserved through pickling, salting and drying. Preserved dishes are generally served as spicy dishes with heavy application of chili oil.
Click here to buy chopsticks and spoon necessary for eating Ziqi's dishes.
The most unique and important spice in Sichuan cuisine is the Sichuan pepper (花椒; huājiāo; 'flower pepper'). Sichuan peppercorn has an intense fragrant, citrus-like flavour and produces a "tingly-numbing" (麻; má) sensation in the mouth. Other commonly used spices in Sichuan cuisine are garlic, chili peppers, ginger and star anise.
Sichuan hotpot, the most famous Chinese hotpot, is one of the representative dishes in Sichuan cuisine and famous for its numb and spicy taste.
Broad bean chili paste is one of the most important seasonings. It is an essential component to famous dishes such as Mapo tofu and double-cooked pork slices. Sichuan cuisine is the origin of several prominent sauces/flavours widely used in modern Chinese cuisine, including:
The complex topography of Sichuan Province, including its mountains, hills, plains, plateaus and the Sichuan Basin, has shaped its food customs with versatile and distinct ingredients.
Abundant rice and vegetables are produced from the fertile Sichuan Basin, whereas a wide variety of herbs, mushrooms and other fungi prosper in the highland regions. Pork is overwhelmingly the most common type of meat consumed. Beef is somewhat more common in Sichuan cuisine than it is in other Chinese cuisines, perhaps due to the prevalence of oxen in the region. Sichuan cuisine also uses various bovine and porcine organs as ingredients, such as intestine, arteries, head, tongue, skin and liver, in addition to other commonly used portions of the meat. Rabbit meat is also much more popular in Sichuan than elsewhere in China. It is estimated that the Sichuan Basin and Chongqing area are responsible for about 70 percent of China's total rabbit meat consumption. Yoghurt, which probably spread from India through Tibet in medieval times, is consumed among the Han Chinese. This is an unusual custom in other parts of the country.
At the table, Li Ziqi uses this to drink tea: https://liziqishop.com/collections/chinese-classical-cultural-gift/products/chinese-handmade-traditional-rough-transparent-ice-stone-teacup-set