Quick guide to Sichuan food: know your Ye’erba from your You cha

Learn what Ye’erba, You cha, Fei chang fen, Han shao bai, Guo ba rou pian, and San da pao are, all foods originating from the city of Chengdu in the Sichuan province of China.

Ye’erba: pork and preserved mustard greens make a meaty filling for this sticky rice snack. It’s cooked in banana or bamboo leaves for a distinctive flavour.


You cha: a peasant dish of coarse-ground cornflour porridge, topped with toasted soya beans, peanuts, preserved vegetables, spring onion, chilli oil and broken mahua (a kind of fried dough).

Fei chang fen: a hot and sour classic combination in Chengdu and nothing delivers it better than Fei chang fen – pigs’ intestines and potato starch noodles in a hot and sour broth.

Han shao bai: pronounced xian shao bai in standard Chinese but han shao bai in the Szechuan dialect, this is a hearty dish of belly pork and preserved mustard greens steamed in a bowl of glutinous rice.

Guo ba rou pian: a restaurant showpiece, where a bowl of crispy rice crackers is brought to the table and a pot of stir-fried pork is poured over the top, making it sizzle.


San da pao: a rare sweet dish of glutinous rice balls, covered in soya flour and doused in a dark sugar syrup.