modish form of Chinese cooking these days is western cuisine. Representing
this region is the Szechuan and Hunan cuisine. Both cuisine are popular
for their liberal use of red chilies, fresh ginger roots, garlic, scallions,
and pungently-fermented sauces. Westerners may think that Szechuan and
Hunan cuisine are too spicy for their liking, but the flavors are strong
and not necessarily spicy hot.
Szechuan cooking is the
most prevailing style of Chinese cooking in humid Taipei. This was probably
the result of traditional Chinese medical theories, which states that
garlic and ginger have extraordinary antiseptic and cleansing effects
and that they prod excessive dampness from the human system.
of the Szechuan and Hunan cuisine include Beggar's Chicken, Honey Ham,
Steamed Mince Pigeon in Bamboo Cups, Steamed Whole Pomfret, Frog Legs
in Hot Chili Sauce, Duck Smoked with Camphor and Tea, Chicken Baked in
Salt, Flah-Fried Shrimp, Eggplant in Soy Sauce, and Szechuan-style Beancurd.
A note of warning, Hunan food is cooked with copious amounts of oils,
and dishes are usually spicy with a dash of sweet, sour, and salty feeling.