Dry Pot and Seafood Tofu Soup, Chili Szechuan, West Philadelphia

In Albums: food Philadelphia

Sichuan dry pot, a colorful dish in a metal bowl, with lots of hot peppers, and a white bowl of seafood tofu soup

Mar 10th, 2013, by Alex Zorach

This photo shows two dishes served at Chili Szechuan restaurant in West Philadelphia.

The left dish, called "dry pot", is related to the common "hot pot", having similar spices and ingredients, but without the boiling broth. Instead of a broth, it just has a small dousing of chili oil--making it one of the hottest dishes I've ever eaten in my life. Eating it can be a little bit like a hazing ritual or initiation rite. But unlike dishes that are insufferably hot relative to their amount of flavor, this dish is full of flavor, and the flavors are exquisite.

The dish on the right, seafood tofu soup, is a mild soup that made a perfect pairing to compliment the intensity of the dry pot. This dish has no hot peppers and has a subtle broth, with seafood and tofu, and a little cilantro leaf.

You can read more of what I have to say about this restaurant in my Yelp review.