Hunan’s Country Cooking
By Linda Burum, Special to the Los Angeles Times.
A plate of chicken with chile, Hunan-style, comes to the table with glistening whole garlic cloves and thick ginger slices that dot a sea of deep red whole chiles burying a mound of crisp, fried chicken cubes. Eyes water and noses run, but after the initial burst of spicy heat, a symphony of umami emerges and each bite becomes more intriguing than the last.
Say what you will about the thrill of a capsicum rush, but the earthy, rough-edged cooking from Hunan in south-central China is less about pure heat than about subtle layers of flavor and a harmonious balance of salty, tart, fermented and smoky tastes.
[[ read more ]]