The Food of Sichuan (New Cookbook by Fuchsia Dunlop)
Whether you're new to Sichuan cooking or have been at it for years, this is the one cookbook you cannot do without. Newbies will find a thorough introduction to ingredients and dozens of classic Sichuan recipes, while experienced cooks will be thrilled to discover recipes that delve deep and wide into all corners of the province and the history of the cuisine.
Even if you have the first edition of this book, entitled The Land of Plenty and published in the U.S. in 2001, you'll want to add this one, as it has been thoroughly updated and expanded. Fuchsia Dunlop, the British chef and author of The Food of Sichuan, is universally acclaimed as the foremost writer on Mainland Chinese cuisine in the English language, and this is the book that started it all. She wrote it in the late 1990s, after being the first foreigner to study at the Sichuan Higher Institute of Cuisine, which trains many of the country's top chefs.
Since then, China has changed at breakneck speed, as has its food, and this edition reflects that evolution as well as Dunlop's own growing expertise. All the original recipes have been retested and tweaked and there are more than 70 new recipes. Perhaps our favorite new addition is the two pages toward the back devoted to Sauces and Dips. For those who already cook Sichuan food, this is a great shortcut and handy guide to flavoring cold dishes and small plates with Sichuan's iconic flavor combinations.
Fuchsia generously took the time to answer all our questions about the new book for The Mala Market blog. Here is an excerpt:
"I wanted to give the book a new lease of life, particularly through illustrating the recipes and revamping the design, and also to update the recipes in light of the growing global interest in Sichuanese food and my own richer experience. I ended up retesting all the recipes, revising most of them and adding about 70 new ones, so I think the whole book is much improved. It wasn't that I felt that anything particular was missing; more that the design really needed updating and I also felt I could do a better job of the recipes and text now that I've been researching Sichuanese cuisine for 25 years rather than 6!
I'm so thrilled with Charlotte Heal's clean and crisp design and the gorgeous photographs by Yuki Sugiura and Ian Cumming. Among the new recipes, my favourites include the liangfen, the sweet water noodles, spicy blood stew and Gong Bao prawns, as well as some of the recipes from southern Sichuan, including 'rabbit eaten cold' and Li Zhuang head bowl."
We have made it our goal at The Mala Market to import the highest-quality version of all the major ingredients the book calls for to stock a Sichuanese "larder." So with the combination of this book and our products, there's really no Sichuan dish you can't make. Not to mention that there is no better gift for a Sichuan-food lover than The Food of Sichuan and one of our Sichuan Pantry Collections.
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company, October 2019
Format: Hardback, cloth binding, 495 pages
Price: $40 MSRP; $35 when purchased with our Sichuan ingredients