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SPICY Chinese recipes?

After all this barbecue business is done today (Happy 4th, fellow Americans!) I plan on throwing a Chinese themed party. I especially love Chinese food with a kick, as do most of my friends. It's fun to make at home, especially while entertaining. Do you have any really spicy recipes, recipes that will make my lips tingle, eyes water, and face flush pink? Throw them at me!

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  1. Look for Sichuan recipes, esp. anything with Sichuan peppercorns.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Mapo dofu is a good example of Sichuan spicy. The first time I had this at a restaurant, I had to ask for extra rice.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mapo_doufu
      lists the things that make this spicy.

      Cantonese cooking, by comparison is quite mild. Black bean dishes among their spiciest (but not hot), using fermented blackbeans and garlic (also used in Sichuan).

    2. Highly recommended: Fuchsia Dunlop's Gen. Tso's Chicken....unbelievable! Actually, anything by her would probably do you right! Let me know if you need that recipe...one of my big-time, all-star faves!

      5 Replies
      1. re: Val

        It would be great if you could share the recipe...

        1. re: cityhopper

          Here it is...WHY do I love this??? Because it ISN'T your gloppy sweet Chinese-American drek....it's the real deal..(well, as far as I can tell...Ms. Dunlop studied in China, so I respect her)...see what you think...also..the double-concentrate paste is really not necessary, you can use *regular* tomato paste:

          http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/04/mag...

          1. re: Val

            It sounds like a fine recipe, but I have to take issue with Ms. Dunlop's dismissive reference to the "Americanized" version of the dish. General's chicken wasn't created in Hunan province, but in New York City. And it's always been sweet (although it shouldn't be gloppy).

            Maybe the "Taiwanified" version in the link is better than the traditional American recipe, but the simple fact of the matter is that General's Chicken is a classic American Chinese dish; there's nothing to "Americanize" about it.

            To answer the OP, take a look at Dunlop's "Land of Plenty." Lots of good recipes there, some of which will scorch your tonsils.

            1. re: alanbarnes

              Maybe Ms. Dunlop would be equally dismissive of the "Americanized Big Mac" as well ...

              As a side note, I've always wondered what dish most Americans (whatever that term means), would prefer in a blind taste test?

              General Tso's Chicken v. Orange Chicken v. Sesame Chicken?

              Winner winner chicken dinner?

              1. re: alanbarnes

                heh, point taken, AB...guess I just prefer her recipe over the take-out stuff.

        2. Yes, Dunlop studied both Chinese and Sichuan cooking in China.

          http://www.fuchsiadunlop.com/cooking/

          1. Like others, I recommend checking out Fuschia Dunlop's books Land of Plenty (Sichuan) and Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook (Hunan). You can get a sense of the recipes from the extensive discussions here on Chowhound from when they were (very popular) Cookbooks of the Month: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/494660

            1 Reply
            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

              Thanks Caitlin - I dunno why I did not mention that very popular thread! That was the only COTM that I participated in! it was still getting bumped long after that month ended.

            2. A good recipe for the summer:
              BON BON CHICKEN

              1 set boneless chicken breast
              1 large or 2 small cucumber

              Seasoning Sauce:
              1/3-cup sesame paste*
              ¼-cup oil
              3 T soy sauce
              3 T vinegar
              2 T sugar
              3 T hot water
              1 T sesame oil
              2 cloves garlic
              1 T chili oil
              3-4 scallions
              1 t dried chili peppers, broken up

              1. Poach the chicken until done, about 1/2 hours. Remove cooked meat and cool. When completely cool tear into shreds.

              2. Peel cucumbers, split lengthwise, scoop out seeds, and cut into thin slices.

              3. Place cucumber on bottom of serving platter. Spread out. Then add chicken strips in mound on top of them. Refrigerate.

              4. In the jar of a blender, put the garlic and scallions. Blend until minced. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Be aware that the spiciness will increase somewhat.

              5. Pour on top of chicken when ready to serve. At the table, thoroughly mix the sauce into the chicken and cucumber before serving.

              *Sesame paste is available in Asian grocery stores. It is different from tahini in that the sesame seeds are toasted so that it is darker in color. I get Lan Chi brand.

              The recipe makes enough for 2 as an entrée by itself. As a course in a Chinese dinner it will serve 6. The sauce recipe is more than enough for the amount of chicken in this recipe and will keep for a long time in the refrigerator. If it is too thick when you go to use it again just add a little hot water to thin it.