+
Restaurants & Bars

Why is Mapo Doufu spicier in Toronto than it was anywhere in China?

vjb | Mar 7, 202004:45 PM     10

This has bugged me for years and years: why are dishes like Mapo Doufu and Gong Bao Ji Ding so spicy at restaurants in the Toronto area?

I experience chilis as pain rather than flavour, so I don't eat spicy food. If I gamely soldier on, eating chili-laden dishes, pretty soon I can't bear even to put steamed rice onto my tongue, it hurts so much. If a dish has had the anaesthetizing power of Hua Jiao added to it, only the first mouthful burns, but it _does_ burn, so I know the chilis are in there somewhere.

In the two years I spent in China in the late 90s, I ate Mapo Doufu and Gong Bao Ji Ding at many restaurants, in different cities, in different provinces, in different corners of the country, and they never caused me pain. The dried chilis in Gong Bao Ji Ding didn't make the whole dish spicy, and all I had to do was avoid eating them.

I loved Mapo Doufu, but I don't get to eat it anymore. :-(

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

Invite a friend to chime in on this discussion.

Email a Friend

More from Chowhound

The Best New Cookbooks for Spring 2020
Food News

The Best New Cookbooks for Spring 2020

by Amy Schulman | Springtime means warmer, sunnier days, an influx of new seasonal ingredients, as well as plenty of...

These Are the Most Popular Recipes on Pinterest Right Now
Food News

These Are the Most Popular Recipes on Pinterest Right Now

by Amy Schulman | As we continue to spend more time at home, we may find ourselves reaching toward the kitchen, spending...

11 Cocktail Ingredients You Have Hiding in Your Kitchen
Recipe Round-Ups

11 Cocktail Ingredients You Have Hiding in Your Kitchen

by Pamela Vachon | Making a cocktail doesn't have to involve esoteric mixers and nine different kinds of alcohol, as...

Tropical Drink Recipes for a Spring Break Staycation
Recipe Round-Ups

Tropical Drink Recipes for a Spring Break Staycation

by Julie Vadnal | This is the year when even the most ardent spring breakers should be staying home. Social distancing...

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.