When Kate and I started the PIG project we hoped it would be a great opportunity to experience the culinary delights from around the world. We never planned it would also be an occasion to end our life-long prejudices toward Chinese food. Until Hong Kong Palace my perception of Chinese food were entirely deep-fried and coated with a tasteless glaze as per my experience at small-town all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets in places like Rexburg, Idaho or Valley Springs, CA. Turns out there are 8 culinary traditions in China and for this PIG Project we tried Sichuan style.
Sichuan food is found south central part of China and is known for spicy meat dishes and lots of interesting vegetables.
The menu had lots of vegetarian options. The celery and wood ear mushrooms were Kate’s favorite. We also had some garlic spinach and bok choy, both which where also good.
For starters we had some vegetarian pot stickers and a green onion pancake. Both were delicious but I preferred the pot stickers.
I don’t recall the name, but one of the dishes was a bowl of tinny fishes in a peanut sauce.
We also ordered another fish dish. The breaded flounder was very good although it was the least exotic of all the dishes.
For dessert we had sesame balls which were rice gluten rolled in roasted sesame seeds. I can’t say this was my favorite and I let Kate finish mine.
This is where things get weird. Sichuan cooking uses a very strange spice that looks like a pepper corn that actually numbs your tongue and makes everything you eat afterward taste different. Apparently no one knows exactly how the numbing spice works or how it messes with your taste buds but it does. After eating some of the numbing spice my whole mouth felt as though I had been given a Novocain shot and when I drank water it tasted like crappy lemon aid. Crazy!
Again I want to thank everyone who came. Great food always tastes better when paired with great friends. See you at the next PIG Project!