Numb tongue, lips tingling, and mouth salivating from blasts of vinegar—this is the magic of Sichuan cooking. Located in southwestern China, the Sichuan province—also famed as the home of pandas—is known for its namesake Sichuan peppers. Unlike other chili peppers, these beauties induce a unique tingling and buzzing feeling yet without the direct heat, making for some of our favorite dishes in the Chinese culinary canon.
Start with the basics: one of the world's best dipping and seasoning sauces is Sichuan chile oil. Then, move on to veggies, meats, and some of the best noodle soups. From kung pao chicken to mapo tofu, here are our absolute best Sichuan recipes to try today.