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    The Spicy Flavor Palate of Chinese Food

    Last updated 7 months ago

    Covering a land area nearly the size of the entire continent of Europe, China is a diverse country with many regional cuisines. Szechuan province, located in the southwestern part of China, is famous for its traditional dishes, which include a broad range of flavors that balance spice and sweetness.Authentic Szechuan cuisine features deep, complex taste profiles. Some of the signature ingredients include:

    Chili Oil
    Though this spicy oil is popular as a condiment in other parts of China, Sichuan cooks use it to create the province’s signature hot dishes. Traditionally, this spicy concoction is made with soybean or sesame oil. Chili peppers, garlic, and paprika are the basic ingredients, though each chef will infuse his or her chili oil with a special individual blend of spices to create a unique signature taste.

    Szechuan Peppercorns
    This signature spice has a taste unlike the black or white pepper used in Western cooking. Cooks do not use the actual seeds of the plant, but rather the toasted or dried pods of the seeds. They have a uniquely hot taste with lemon undertones, and they produce a unique tingling sensation in the mouth that is beyond the heat of chilies. Szechuan peppercorns are a key ingredient in traditional dishes such as Kung Pao and twice-cooked pork.

    Camphor Twigs
    Camphor is an evergreen tree that has a high concentration of fragrant compounds. The pungent twigs of this plant have a strong, unmistakable aroma. Camphor is a traditional scent for incense and a key ingredient of many preparations in traditional Chinese medicine, but in Szechuan cuisine it is most famous for its use in tea-smoked duck. This dish is smoked with black tea and camphor twigs, then flash-fried for crispiness.

    Chef Han of Z & Y Restaurant prepares authentic spicy Chinese food in the heart of San Francisco’s historic Chinatown. To make a reservation or place a take-out order, call us at (415) 814-1700 today.

    How to Eat Hot Pot

    Last updated 8 months ago

    If you enjoy a fun, communal eating experience, order a hot pot the next time you go out for Chinese food. This type of cuisine allows you to cook your own small pieces of meat and vegetables in a shared soup pot. By observing a few simple rules, you can make your hot pot experience fun and easy.

    First, make sure you either use your chopsticks expertly to select morsels from the pot, or ask for a spoon. This will help prevent you from dropping food or splashing hot soup on the table. Second, make sure you boil all meats thoroughly before consuming them to ensure that they are safe to eat. Last, and most importantly, make sure that you leave enough food so that everyone can try each type of seafood, meat, or vegetable.

    Z & Y Restaurant in San Francisco offers several hot pot selections for your dining pleasure. You can also try authentic Szechuan delicacies prepared by our expert chef, including twice-cooked pork, Kung Pao, and scallion pancakes. If you would like to make a reservation or order takeout Chinese food, call us today at (415) 814-1700.

    Your Guide to Chinese Food [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Last updated 8 months ago

    When you have a craving for authentic Chinese food, nothing else will do. San Francisco is home to some of the country’s best Chinese restaurants, including the ever-popular Z & Y Restaurant in Chinatown. If you are a newcomer to Chinese food, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the many menu options. Some Chinese food menus have surprises even for experienced diners! In this infographic from the best Chinese restaurant in San Francisco, you’ll find a guide to the different styles of Chinese cooking, from sweet Cantonese cuisine to hot and spicy Szechuan cooking. While you may be eating Chinese food for the flavor, you can also do your health a favor since many of the ingredients used are good for you! Please share this info with your friends and family, and meet them at Z & Y Restaurant in San Francisco today.

    4 Must-Try Classic Chinese Seafood Dishes

    Last updated 8 months ago

    If you are not in the mood beef, chicken, or even savory twice cooked pork the next time you dine on authentic Szechuan cuisine, considering trying a seafood dish. Some of the freshest and highest quality seafood in the world arrives at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, which is just a few miles north of Z & Y Restaurant’s Chinatown location. Our seafood dishes include such favorites as:

    Kung Pao Scallops
    While this classic Szechuan dish is most famously prepared with chicken, the firm, tasty flesh of scallops also lends itself well to the balanced spicy, sweet, and sour flavor of Kung Pao preparation. Scallops have almost no saturated fat, and they contain a high proportion of B vitamins and nutrients such as magnesium and potassium.

    Salt and Pepper Squid
    Most people in America are accustomed to eating squid that has been breaded and deep fried, but the Chinese prefer to taste the pure flavor of fresh squid, with just a bit of seasoning. Try out salt and pepper squid for a unique taste opportunity as well as several important health benefits. Squid contains a small amount of copper, which helps your body metabolize iron and keeps your red blood cells healthy.

    Hot Braised Sea Bass
    This spicy dish complements the tender, flaky texture of perfectly cooked white fish with a hot, spicy Szechuan preparation. Like all white fish, sea bass is an excellent source of protein, and contains very little fat compared to other types of meat. Whole fish is a delicacy in Chinese cuisine, and is usually served with the head intact, as the cheeks are considered a delicacy.

    Fresh Prepared Crab
    Dungeness crab is one of San Francisco’s iconic foods, and in authentic Chinese restaurants we prepare it several ways to suit the diners’ preferences. We offer fresh crab with black pepper, ginger and scallions, or spicy sauce for those who crave a bit more heat.

    Whether you are in the mood for seafood, meat, or delicious poultry, Z & Y Restaurant offers a wide assortment of authentic Chinese food that are sure to please your palate. Visit us in San Francisco or call (415) 814-1700 to place an order. 

    Vegetarian Cooking from Szechuan Province

    Last updated 8 months ago

    Although the most famous Szechuan dishes, such as Kung Pao chicken, twice-cooked pork, and tea-smoked duck, contain meat, there is also a strong tradition of vegetarian cooking the province due to the influence of Buddhist principles.

    Watch this video to learn about vegetarian cooking at Buddhist monasteries in Sichuan province. Even if you can’t travel to China to dine, you can still enjoy delicious meat-free dishes such as Kung Pao bean curd, eggplant with garlic sauce, and much more at Z & Y Restaurant—the best Chinese restaurant in San Francisco.

    Chef Han prepares the authentic Chinese food in the heart of San Francisco’s historic Chinatown. To make a reservation or place a take-out order, call us at (415) 814-1700 today.

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