I have to start out this post by being completely honest with you: I have never been to China. But, speaking from the perspective of a Chinese food enthusiast, I can assure you that I know the definition of good food.
Chicago may not be known for its Chinese food, but it does have a vibrant, albeit small, China town. It’s quant and makes you feel like you’re somewhere between the crossroads of a booming metropolis and a small Chinese town. If I could even imagine what that would be like. I’ll leave it’s authenticity to those of you who have been to China, but for me, it’s definitely worth the trip.
If you’re too far from Chicago or just don’t feel like visiting this subsect of the Windy City – don’t worry, I got you. J, M and I made the 35 minute drive on a summer Sunday morning. After watching the Chicago episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, I just knew that I had to visit Sze Chuan Cuisine. Way at the south end of Wentworth Ave, this hipster meets industrial Chinese restaurant is just too cool.
Kung Pao Chicken wasn’t the only thing on the menu. Our fabulous table spread includes (from left to right): chrysanthemum tea, sauteed green beans, mapo tofu w/ ground pork, wontons in chili sauce, and lots of white rice.
This authentic Kung Pao Chicken recipe I created for you is certainly a nod to the amazingness that lived in my mouth for about a millisecond. It won’t qualify as a sure fire substitute for the Kung Pao Chicken at Sze Chaun Cuisine. But for now, it certainly fulfills any craving I may have. It’s got a wonderful blend of spicy, sweet, and savory. Serve it on top of plain brown rice and you got yourself a delicious lunch or dinner. Hell, let’s be serious, I’d eat this for breakfast, too!