1. Ma po tofu, Sichuan
The dish is made with a spicy bean chili sauce, tofu and ground pork and a liberal sprinkling of the mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorn that is a mainstay in Sichuan and Chongqnig cooking.
2. Dan dan noodles, Sichuan
The true dan dan noodle dish is made with a blistering chili black bean paste, ground pork, a dollop of raw minced garlic and crunchy ground peanuts topped off with scallions and cilantro. The sauce is placed at the bottom of an empty bowl, unseasoned al dente noodles are put over the sauce and the diner is charged with the task of mixing it all up.
3. Saliva chicken, Sichuan
Literally translated as “saliva chicken,“ because you'll salivate when you even think about this dish.
Boiled chicken is marinated in a chili and sesame oilsauce that features 10 spices and sauces making it a fiery yet mouth-watering dish.
4. Hot and sour glass noodles, Chongqing
This inexpensive spicy snack is beloved all over China and is made of sweet potato flour glass noodles stewed in a soup made of soybeans, chili paste, copious amounts of vinegar, and chili oil.
5. Gan guo, Hunan
Choose from a variety of meats, vegetables and tofu to be flash stir-fried and sent sizzling to your table in a mini wok.
Hunan food is less oily than Sichuan food and the abundance of fresh red and green chili peppers, scallions, ginger and garlic make Hunan food arguably the spiciest cuisine in China.
6. Hot and sour fish soup, Guizhou
A Guizhou favorite is hot and sour fish soup, which is made with your choice of freshwater fish and a fish broth of tomatoes, local Guizhou red chili peppers, chili oil and garlic and scallions.
7. Hunan spicy beef, Hunan
Hunan province knows a thing or two about cooking up beef since it is the second-largest supplier of beef in China. The choice beef dish is Hunan spicy beef, which is beef stir fried in a mixture of fresh and deep fried chili peppers.
8. Er kuai spicy chicken, Yunnan
This dish is little known outside of Yunnan province but Chinese foodies rave about er kuai, a savory rice cake made of glutinous rice paste that is steamed and then cut into small cubes and stir fried with fresh chili peppers and tender morsels of deep fried chicken.
9. Hotpot, Chongqing
It’s tasty because there's a layer of rendered beef fat in the kitchen-sink sized hotpot at the center of the table. Dried and fresh red chili peppers and 20 other herbs and spices go into the hotpot soup ensuring that whatever meat, vegetable, noodle or tofu you dip into the hotpot you will be rewarded with a spicy euphoria that will linger long after the meal is over.
10. Yu xiang tofu, Sichuan
Never mind the fact that there is no fish used in the preparation of this dish.
Red chili bean paste, sugar, garlic, ginger, onions and soy sauce is stewed with deep fried tofu and fresh capsicum. This dish can be made substituting tofu for eggplant or shredded pork.