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6 easy Sichuan recipes to try for dinner

Wontons in chili oil from Sichuan Impression in Alhambra
Kung pao chicken stir-fried in a hot wok.
(Yuki Sugiura/For The Times)

Fuchsia Dunlop, author of “The Food of Sichuan,” shared three variations on kung pao chicken with us. All are different — and delicious — and capture the balance of savory, sweet, sour and spicy characteristic of Sichuan food.

Although you should check out the best Sichuan restaurants in the SGV, you can make Sichuan dishes at home too. Start with these six easy recipes, including one adapted from Dunlop for Sichuan wontons in chile oil. I like to make a big batch and freeze extra uncooked dumplings and refrigerate the chili oil for an instant dinner anytime.

Chilled noodles from Tiantian Qiu, the chef at Hip Hot in Monterey Park
You can use rotisserie chicken in these chilled noodles.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Dinners that come together nearly as fast start with noodles. When it’s warm out, try these chilled noodles from chef Tiantian Qiu of Hip Hot restaurant in Monterey Park and Mala Town on Sawtelle. Chicken and bean sprouts turn it into an ideal one-dish meal.

Dan dan noodles
Sang Yoon’s dan dan mian uses wide noodles, but you can try thinner ones too.
(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

For a great version of Sichuan-style dan dan mian, check out Sang Yoon’s recipe from Lukshon. You can prepare big batches of his sauces on lazy weekends and keep them in the fridge to toss with noodles on busy weeknights. Yoon also created a modern Californian riff on Sichuan-style seasonings with this elegant lamb dish.

Use prime steak for the tastiest results.
Prime hangar steak with Szechuan spices and citrus, from chef Brandon Kida, at Hinoki & the Bird
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
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Chef Brandon Kida of Hinoki & the Bird did the same with this hanger steak recipe, bright with handfuls of dried red chiles.

Dry-fried Sichuan string beans
Green beans blister in a hot wok for this dish.
(Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times)

To balance all the carbs and meat, try this Sichuan classic of dry-fried string beans. They’re the veggies you need as part of a larger meal or a nice, light dish on their own with a bowl of steamed rice.


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