There are 4 major food preparation methods in Sichuan Cuisine before cooking:
1. Marinating 码味 - the purpose of marinating is to improve the flavor/taste and/or to improve the texture of food materials and/or to add color to the food materials. In Sichuan cuisine, many ingredients could be used in marinating food materials, including but not limited to salt, sugar, honey, rice vinegar, rice wine, Sichuan pepper, chili pepper powder, ginger grains and etc. The time of marinating varies in a wide range from a couple of minutes to a couple of days depending on the dishes.
2. Starch or Batter Coating 勾芡 - starch and batter coating may improve the texture and reserve the freshness. It is widely used in Sichuan cuisine for meat dishes. Sometimes starch coating is used in other dishes such as tofu, eggplant and etc.
3. Quick deep frying 过油 - this technique is widely used in many dishes. One of the most famous is the Chili Pepper Chicken （辣子鸡）， in which the chicken cubes are quick deep fried before stir frying with chili pepper, sichuan pepper, ginger and other ingredients. The main purpose of quick deep frying is to remove the raw smell of meat. By deep frying the meat first, it will also shorten the cooking time of meat with ingredient in order to keep the aroma. If the cooking time is too long, it will dispel the aroma of ingredients such as Sichuan pepper.
4. Quick water boiling 过水 - the most renown dish using this technique is the double-cooked meat. It will get rid of most of raw smell or blood residue in the meat by putting the meat in the boiling water for a short while. Another purpose is to improve the texture of food through the process.