For today’s lunch we are Serving Kung Pao Beef. This recipe uses Sichuan peppercorns. With its unique aroma and flavor is not hot or pungent like black, white, or chili peppers. Instead, it has slight lemony overtones and creates a tingly numbness in the mouth. According to Harold McGee in On Food and Cooking, they are not simply pungent; "they produce a strange, tingling, buzzing, numbing sensation that is something like the effect of carbonated drinks or of a mild electric current (touching the terminals of a nine-volt battery to the tongue). Come by to either kitchen to try out this unique ingredient
To complement our main course, for soup today at our 245 West Kitchen we are serving Congee. Congee is regarded as the ultimate Chinese comfort food, according to the author Fuchsia Dunlop. This recipe for ji zhou or chicken congee, from her book on Jiangnan regional cuisine is dead simple and satisfying. Serve it with chicken and soy sauce for a late-night Shanghai-style snack.