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Hunan Cuisine - Chinatown

Hunan Cuisine - Chinatown
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  • Hunan Cuisine - Chinatown

    Post #1 - October 6th, 2021, 11:38 am
    Post #1 - October 6th, 2021, 11:38 am Post #1 - October 6th, 2021, 11:38 am
    I know there have been mentions of Hunan Cuisine on Wentworth in Chinatown on the LTH, but after 2 terrific visits, I felt it needed a thread of its own.

    I've been intrigued with Hunan food since Sichuan went mainstream in New York in the early 2000s and Fuchsia Dunlop pushed further afield in her Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook. However, opportunities to try the good stuff in restaurants or buy correct ingredients to cook at home were limited. Hunan Bistro opened in New York in the 2010s with many authentic dishes, and I've since spent time in San Jose which has options. That said, I think the depth of the menu at Hunan Cuisine is a real step up.

    Among items on their menu that I had only read about are labadou aka winter sacrifice beans, and white chilis. The labadou are fermented white soy beans, creamy, sour and packed with umami. The flavor is much milder than Cantonese fermented black beans, so they are used more generously, a cup or more in each dish. I really enjoyed the labadou with spicy garlic, which was a stir fry with leeks, garlic, chili and the beans. It is hot, although the menu will allow for adjustment, with a savory sour flavor and a nice contrast of creamy beans and squeaky-crisp leeks. I slightly preferred it to the labadou with cabbage, although that is a good choice if you prefer less heat.

    The white chilis are sun-bleached dried peppers and large quantities are rehydrated in a stir fry of pork with fresh chilies as well. The white chilies take on a chewy dried fruit texture without a ton of heat. I found this dish good and very interesting, but it is more of something you would want a bit of than a full meal, so it might make more sense for a larger group.

    I also tried a Hunan classic, tofu with preserved pork. Smoked tofu, bacon, pickled chilies and leeks are stir fried together. A great combination. Hunan fried rice was useful for the less adventurous in the group, essentially scallion and egg fried rice with a bit of pickled chili.

    This is a great place and I can't wait to go back.

    2002 S Wentworth Ave (Richland Center)
  • Post #2 - October 8th, 2021, 5:33 am
    Post #2 - October 8th, 2021, 5:33 am Post #2 - October 8th, 2021, 5:33 am
    need those sacrifice beans, sounds like a must visit