Catfish a la Sichuan swims in a soupy swamp that adds Old Bay seasoning to a spicing scheme that includes cilantro, chile oil, and dried red chiles.
One of the pleasures of dining in Mission Chinese during its first two months has been the menu tinkering that’s gone on, with fundamental ingredients in signature dishes constantly changing, and newly invented recipes hitting the menu, then staying or leaving.
Shown above, catfish a la Sichuan is one such item that appeared only recently. As the name implies, it’s more within the Sichuan canon than a lot of the menu, and packs a prodigious peppercorn wallop. The swatches of freshwater fish play hide-and-seek with identical size pieces of Napa cabbage, and you’re going to need a bowl of barley rice to attenuate the concentrated flavors.
Tuesday evening a full Counter Culture review will appear, but here are three menu changes that have occurred since I finished the piece. (Even though I’m done writing the review, I’m still visiting.)
Mission Chinese Food
154 Orchard Street
This plate of lamb ribs arrived heavily dusted with Asian cumin, and garnished with pickled ramps and charred dates (not the tiny red Asian dates, but full-size California dates). In its current form on the menu, the dish is referred to as “lamb breast” and the ramps have disappeared in favor of pickled long beans.
Loved the lamb dumplings, with their novel configuration that seemed perfectly suited to scooping up all the stuff heaped upon them? Well, they’re gone from the menu.