Cheap Eats 2015: China Jade

Where we go for our favorite spice-infused stews and beef dishes.

Tables of expat families are always a positive sign at a Chinese eatery, and this Szechuan/Cantonese dining room is no exception. Anything stoked with chilies is a good bet. This might translate to slippery pork-filled wontons in a chili-blitzed sauce, Chengdu-style mapotofu—a fire-breathing stew of pork and tofu with a flotilla of peppers—or spicy dried beef. Even if you’re not into palate-scorching, there’s good eating to be had. Dumplings emerge deftly fried, and a toss of tender house-made bacon contrasts nicely with smothered leeks. For those who are game, more adventurous dishes like yellow chives with bullfrog (it really does taste like chicken) or crunchy fried intestine deliver thrills, too.

Cuisine: Chinese

Where you can get it: 16805 Crabbs Branch Way, Rockville; 301-963-1570

Also good: Stir-fried snow-pea leaves or spinach with garlic; Hong Kong–style fried rice; Chengdu-style eggplant with hot garlic sauce; cucumbers with sesame oil; twice-cooked pork with garlic leaves.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.