Hunan cuisine is one of our favorites, when we are looking for a good chili fix.
Noted for pungency, thanks to its generous yet judicious use of spices, we love its employment of fermented chilies that while tasty, does not leave you numb like, the malat.
Hunan Hot Spicy Song Yee Tow/ Steamed Fish head , with Shanghai Noodles
We are big fans of Hunan style chopped fermented chilies which De Hunan makes in-house – sweet, soft, fragrant and not overly spicy. Yes indeed, Hunan cuisine is definitely characterized by its deep color, its balance of hot and sour, fragrant and complex flavours.
Hunan itself is actually situated south of Dongting Lake and shares borders with six other provinces, including Hubei to the north and Guangdong to the South. Winters can get frigid and damp and so, chilies are supposed to warm the body up.
Clockwise L – R :Seaweed, Fu-Chok, Pickled Pig’s ear – 4 starters including pickled cucumber
Hunan cuisine itself employs soy sauce, tea seed oil, spicy oil, Chinese red pepper, fennel and cassia bark, each conferring a characteristic color and flavor to the cuisine. Hunan cuisine is noted for pungency, but the art and skill is for the chef to get the balance just right so that all the aromas blend beautifully and the chili does not subtract from the full exquisite experience.
Hunan cuisine is also highly enjoyable whether you are indulging in the hotpot, sautéed or stir-fried dishes, and even stewed or braised dishes.
Braised Pork Shoulder
However, if you ask me, Hunan cuisine really excels at braising, and in this case, a classic example is the pork shoulder. We like De Hunan Hotpot because it has a vast selection of dishes, aside from the hotpot. So, you really can sample all the classics from Hunan.
Love this cooking technique where this all time favourite Hunan dish the braised pork shoulder, results in a shiny bright brown sauce appearing almost red. The perfectly rendered fat, the cartilaginous bits, and the lean pork meat all intermingle to give you and exquisite bite that’s hard to forget. Rice is a must with this dish.
Deep fried spicy chicken with dried chili – crispy and well seasoned, these would go great with a beer!
stir-fried Beijing Cabbage with pork
Crunchy cabbage cooked just right (ie. not remotely overcooked) and slivers of succulent, aromatic pork – another great dish to go with rice.
Delectable Hunan Specialty.. add to the Song Yee Tow (Fish Head), Shanghai style noodles.. amazingly delicious
My favourite dish is definitely the Hunan Hot Spicy Steamed Fish head , that really showcases the fermented Hunan Chilies to perfection..
An enormous Song fish head, with a signature chopped blend of dried, fresh and fermented chiles that give Hunanese cooking its reputation for head-snapping heat is my all time favourite dish at DeHunan Hotpot restaurant. Prying off chunks of soft meat, scraping down silvery skin and digging around in the cranium for gooey cartilage and bits of custardy brain, is all part of the fun of this eating this dish!
Spacious and well ventilated, De Hunan is actually pretty massive in size, and it has the best lot, with a view of Bukit Bintang Road below.
Then enter the hotpot.
Actually, there is a choice of 4 and in two sizes – Fish Head Soup, Pork Bone Soup, Duck Soup and Chicken Soup. The large pot for 4 pax is priced at RM50, the small pot per pax is priced at RM15. Incredibly value for money.
Duck Soup, with delicious chunks of duck meat inside – this soup has a nice burn to it…
We tried the Duck Soup and Fish Head soup this time round because two could not possibly finish 4 types of soups in one sitting, but we plan to go back for the Pork Bone Soup.
Ling Fish Head/ Ling Yee Tow, from Canada
A super sweet, clear fish broth, and a nice reprieve from the heat that all the previous dishes packed.
Wow.. did we really eat all that..?!
Super fresh Tiger Prawns are a must have. Also fish ball, pork balls, crab sticks, cuttle fish paste, prawn balls, tong fun, tau foo pok, quails eggs, sweet potato, kailan and straw mushrooms.
Loved the foo chok which was nice and crispy…
Fabulous cuttle fish paste, that you can make into balls on the spot..
Quails eggs are another one of my favourites – small but potent and packed with flavour
Watch the mega fresh tiger prawns turn crimson on contact with heat. I recommend no more than 15 seconds in the boiling soup to cook these babies just right! Over cooking them would be a travesty.
Duck soup and Fish head soup top ups once the broth runs low..
Homemade potato pancakes, dunked in condensed milk, these are crispy on the outside, and soft and billowy on the inside. Definitely my latest addiction.
Golden sweet potato with honey – watch them form strands of ‘hair’ when you lift them.. dunking them in cold water, super cools the honey, and you get a hard, crispy, sweet exterior.
Of course the textural contrast of the hard exterior, and the soft, steamy, sweet potato center is heavenly with every bite.
The Executive Head chef for Dehunan Group, Chef Li Bin
Apparently DeHunan Hotpot’s motto is that they endeavor to bring the flavors of China to Malaysia – authentic Hunan food with only the best ingredients, and this is certainly easily achievable, when you see that not just one, but THREE of their chefs are from Hunan!
Head chef at De Hunan Hotpot, Fahrenheit88, Chef Li Zhen Fang (left); On the right is Chef Hu Hui
De Hunan Hotpot is definitely top on our list of must visits for the month of June 2015. Come here for the amazing selection of expertly crafted Hunan classic cuisine, as well as mouth-watering hotpot!
Lot 2.05, Level 2 Fahrenheit88,
No 179, Jalan Bukit Bintang
Restaurant De Hunan
No 2, Jalan Kuchai Maju 6, off Jalan Kuchai Lama,
58200 Kuala Lumpur
Restaurant De Hunan
No. 42, Jalan Puteri 2/4, Bandar Puteri.
47100 Puchong, Selangor Darul Ehsan.