(Stir-Fried) Water Boiled Fish

"You'll like it." These were the words that I was told the first time I tasted the Sichuanese dish known as water-boiled fish. That phrase may just be the most epic understatement in the history of my life, up there with descriptions of me such as 'a little competitive' and the usual elementary school report card 'can be bossy.' For once, I had found a Chinese restaurant that 'got' me. That didn't dumb dishes down when they saw my skin color, that didn't come running with a fork and a glass of ice water at my pronunciation of Chinese words. No, Chiang's Gourmet had made a dish suggestion … [Read more...]

On the Hot Path of Hot Pot at Szechuan Chef

Something happened recently that turned our little hot pot world upside down. In fact, it turned my whole theory of eating vs. driving distance around. I liked a restaurant in Bellevue. This is big. A true Seattlite, I try to never allow my West-side of the water snobbiness to be overruled by my search for good food, but I'm afraid it has happened. There is a restaurant that I feel fully justifies driving across Lake Washington for. And yes, I realize it is further to most parts of Seattle from my house than to Bellevue, but it is the principal of the thing. Szechuan hot pot is a favorite … [Read more...]

Szechuan Peppercorn Ice Cream

Ice cream may not be the first thing that comes to mind for a holiday season dessert, but that doesn't mean it can't fit right in. Made with the floral and slightly mouth-numbing Szechuan peppercorns, this ice cream feels cozy, despite its temperature. Also called Sichuan peppercorns or Sansho peppers, these are actually a berry and often used to a zing to spicy food while having a slight anesthetic effect on the tongue, but the fragrant aspect of it has always led me to think a Szechuan peppercorn dessert would be perfect. It finally stopped snowing here and has been pouring rain as I write … [Read more...]