Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Unusual Seasonings Chicken

I first wrote about Spring World, in Chicago's Chinatown, in a post about Yunnan cuisine. The food was so good I knew I'd return when I returned to Chicago, and I did, and I did. The menu features both Yunnan and Sichuan dishes, and this intriguingly named item shows up on the Sichuan side. It really wasn't so unusual in taste at all, but it was wonderful. It's a cold dish with a mix of spices including Sichuan peppercorn, ginger and sesame seeds in what Sichuan menus often describe as a chili vinaigrette. This dish helped to confirm for me that Spring World is indeed one of the best Chinese restaurants in the U.S., with the added plus of the nearly impossible to find Yunnan dishes on the menu. Spring World is a particular favorite of Chicago Tribune food critic Kevin Pang, and he calls this dish his favorite appetizer in Chinatown.

I once asked a Chinese waiter if the dish called "amazing chicken" was really amazing. "Maybe not amazing," he said, "but really good." I'm glad I didn't ask the Spring World waitress if the seasonings in this chicken dish were really unusual, because if she had said no I might not have ordered it, and it would have been my loss.


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