This week, Suá Superette opened up in LA’s uber-shoppable Larchmont neighborhood. Suá is a Sichuan-inspired grab-and-go marketplace with a focus on fresh and clean ingredients.
From the look of things, the stylish market (shown above) promises to be as viral a hit as co-founder Jing Gao’s first project, Fly by Jing. We also trust co-founder Stephanie Liu Hjelmeseth’s taste implicitly.
We caught up with Jing in the kitchen on the eve or Suá Superette’s launch to talk authentic Sichuan food, her best cooking tips, and how she eats every day. Enjoy Jing’s tips, pick up her new book The Book of Sichuan Chili Crisp and head to Suá if you’re here in L.A.!
In the Kitchen With Jing Gao Of Suá Superette
Food Philosophy In One Sentence: Eat until you are 80% full.
7 Recipe Staples Always On Hand: Mapo tofu, Dan Dan noodles, Zhong dumplings, cucumber and yuba salad, Strange Flavor chicken, Fish Fragrant eggplant, and of course, a bountiful table of Sichuan hot pot.
Must-Have Munchies: Sichuan Strange-Flavor crunchy fava bean snack from 99 Ranch.
Ingredient That Makes Everything Taste Better: Fly By Jing’s 3-year aged Doubanjiang.
Go-To Proteins: Free-range chicken, sustainably caught fish, and tofu.
Best healthy Bargain: It’s not edible, but breathwork (it’s free).
Best Label-Reading Tip: Look for quality sourcing, and understand the story behind the ingredients.
Fave Veggie + What You Make With It: Celtuce — I love making a simple pickled celtuce salad with tribute pepper oil.
Must-Have Pantry Staples: Cassia bark, star anise, dried shiitake mushrooms, good soy sauce, FBJ 10 year aged black vinegar, and sesame oil.
Sweets And Other Indulgences: Medjool dates.
Dairy Or Non-Dairy Faves: Traditional Chinese soy milk.
Skip Labels That Read: “Artificial flavors” or “preservatives”.
Favorite Splurge: High-quality aged Pu-erh tea.
For Last-Minute Entertaining: A quick stir-fry using Fly By Jing sauces, paired with jasmine tea.
Favorite Places To Shop: Ranch 99, H-Mart and now Sua Superette!
Simple Go-To Recipe: Mapo tofu. It’s a five-minute recipe and hands down my “last meal” on earth.
Best Food Memory: Dining at Zhang Lao Er Liangfen 洞子口张老二凉粉 an inimitable ”fly restaurant” in Chengdu best known for its chewy sweet water noodles.