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Sichuan Peppercorn

Chinese

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447 replies to this topic

#421 edsel

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 02:23 PM

I don't know if it has already been mentioned on this thread but the sichuan peppercorns packed in oil are simply amazing. They come in a glass jar with a light brown lid, there are a few sesame seeds floating in the oil. They are extremely powerful. I would somtimes feed guests one and watch their reactions, it was a lot of fun. I especially like how water suddenly tastes like salt water after eating one. One of my guests was amazed that I had a spice which recreated the sensation of licking a 9v battery. I keep mine in the refrigerator to maximize potency. I only seem to use them for mapo tofu but I would like to try more dishes with them.

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Now that sounds like fun! I'm going to look for these next time I'm at the asian market. Any idea how they might be labeled? (The dry ones are sometimes labeled "red pepper", which isn't too helpful if you don't know what the sichuan peppercorns actually look like.)

#422 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 02:31 PM

Now that sounds like fun! I'm going to look for these next time I'm at the asian market. Any idea how they might be labeled? (The dry ones are sometimes labeled "red pepper", which isn't too helpful if you don't know what the sichuan peppercorns actually look like.)

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Check here:

http://offthebroiler...-tony-bourdain/

and scroll down to the bottom pic in the series.

=R=
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#423 mudbug

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 07:39 PM

I don't know if it has already been mentioned on this thread but the sichuan peppercorns packed in oil are simply amazing. They come in a glass jar with a light brown lid, there are a few sesame seeds floating in the oil. They are extremely powerful. I would somtimes feed guests one and watch their reactions, it was a lot of fun. I especially like how water suddenly tastes like salt water after eating one. One of my guests was amazed that I had a spice which recreated the sensation of licking a 9v battery. I keep mine in the refrigerator to maximize potency. I only seem to use them for mapo tofu but I would like to try more dishes with them.

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Yes, can you take a photo of the product packaging and post it here john?

Edited by mudbug, 27 June 2006 - 07:41 PM.


#424 mudbug

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 07:43 PM

...The dry ones are sometimes labeled "red pepper", which isn't too helpful if you don't know what the sichuan peppercorns actually look like.


All you have to do is do an image search in a search engine like google: Click Here to See

#425 LarsTheo

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 02:07 PM

I know possess several pounds of Sichuan peppercorns, but I really don't know what to do with them. For as lengthy as this thread is, it doesn't link to too many recipes that I can find. Any help?

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Ming Tsai's Szechuan Peppercorn Paste I saw Ming make this on TV a couple of weeks ago, but I forgot what he did with the paste after he made it. I think he put some on salmon and some on chicken. He may have added soy sauce to it.

I bought a 1 oz. jar at Penzeys a couple of months ago - I thought the ban had been lifted. There are almost no seeds in the jar from Penzeys, but I remove what I do find. They are not flavorless, but they are gritty.

#426 Kent Wang

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 01:03 AM

Eje, have you considered using these in a cocktail? Maybe a bloody mary?

#427 eje

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 09:52 AM

Eje, have you considered using these in a cocktail? Maybe a bloody mary?

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Kent,

I've considered it; but, have never gotten around to trying.

I was thinking of using them in a bitters, but, then donbert beat me to the punch. I see Sam also mentioned meaning to try to make "ticture" of Sichuan Peppercorns. We'll have to bother them and find out if anything ever came of their experiments.

Friend of the Farmer mentioned that they had a really good Bloody Mary including Szechuan Peppercons in Shanghai, "Best Ever". Does sound good; but, I rarely drink Bloody Marys (Bloody Maries? What is the plural?).
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#428 hzrt8w

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 10:58 AM

Friend of the Farmer mentioned that they had a really good Bloody Mary including Szechuan Peppercons in Shanghai, "Best Ever".  Does sound good; but, I rarely drink Bloody Marys (Bloody Maries?  What is the plural?).

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The Chinese version would be called "Bloody Ma Lay"? :smile:
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#429 slkinsey

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 12:39 PM

Matt Hassett made a tincture of sichuan peppercorn (may still be some of it at Pegu), and as I recall, we weren't too taken with it. It is possible that the "good stuff" in sichuan peppercorn comes out best into fat rather than alcohol?
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#430 fiore

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 06:47 PM

In China you can get Sichuan pepper oil - good for using when you don't want the grittiness of the whole or ground pepper. But I find the flavour inferior, usually - nothing beats the fresh, whole pepper...
Fuchsia

#431 lucylou95816

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Posted 21 November 2006 - 10:20 PM

a friend of mine made salt and pepper shrimp a while back, and it had this trippy juicy/numbing feeling in your mouth. It was these peppercorns...I just made some tonight and got that same feeling in my mouth, which is really a cool thing. :)

#432 Daznz

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 12:35 AM

I think im missing something from the sichuan pepper corns over here... Most recipes i have been doing are only asking for 1tsp of crushed sichuan. I dont seem to get much flavor from it im starting to think its old and not fresh enough.
Ive heard of sichuan numming the mouth.. So how much smell does it have when you shiff it and how strong is it in your dishes you cook?

Thanks Dale

#433 SuzySushi

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 01:15 AM

Are you toasting the Sichuan peppercorns first? That brings out the full flavor. (Place in a dry pan and heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until they smell fragrant -- this takes less than a minute so don't walk away from the stove!)
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#434 Marky Marc

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 03:01 AM

Neat little thing, these peppercorns. Love em in a soup. Don't like em in my mouth. Doesn't exactly numb, it just feels really weird.

#435 Daznz

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 04:47 AM

Are you toasting the Sichuan peppercorns first? That brings out the full flavor. (Place in a dry pan and heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until they smell fragrant -- this takes less than a minute so don't walk away from the stove!)

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Yes i do roast them maybe i should be adding more to the dishes . So in a jar would you say they smell stronger than black pepper or same, less ,or more ?

#436 Peter Green

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 06:48 AM

I got the same feeling comparing what I had in Chengdu with what I bought in Calgary and elsewhere. What we're getting has lost a lot of the brutality that the original peppercorns had. I'm not certain why. It may be that they've just been kept too long, or else we're not getting exactly the same ones they use over there.

One good little peppercorn, popped in your mouth, should really twist you off for a half hour or more. The stuff outside of China doesn't seem to do that.

When I can, I'll try the toast and do a taste comparison. Better yet, I'll trick someone else into doing a taste comparison.

#437 Pat Churchill

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 07:13 AM

I'm just writing about them at the moment for my newspaper columns this week. My jar of them is here on the desk. I took the lid off and they smell reasonably pungent. I grind them in a mortar. I would say the sensation on the tongue is numbing - but also fizzy, something like a spritzy wine. Woody but also lemony. They are a nice reddy-brown and only a nibble on part of a dried pod did the business.

I've used them ground, along with toasted sesame seeds, to coat some fresh tuna for a tuna tataki. I will post the link when the article goes up on my website later in the week.

I've got a very good lot which I bought mail order from Herbie's recently but I have also had very stalky ones from another source, completely lacking in oomph.
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#438 Daznz

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 11:41 PM

Thanks for ya help people well i put one ground Sichuan pepper in my mouth
and im getting all those effects so i guess they might not be to bad. :smile:
I look forward to your article Pat.. after about 15mins the fizzyness is dropping in the mouth a little :biggrin:

Dale

#439 hzrt8w

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 12:02 AM

The sichuan peppercorns tend to lose the potency over time. I used to think sichuan peppercorns did not seem such a big deal when I chewed on them... that was based on a jar that I bought way back when (stored for many years). When I bought a new package from the market and tried it out.... it's like novacaine.

If you chew on the sichuan peppercorns and you don't feel the numbing effect, just ditch them and buy some new ones.

I got mine in the USA (Sacramento). I think these things are imported from China so it shouldn't matter where they are sold.
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#440 RickBehl

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 12:47 AM

We just got back from Chengdu too and we made sure to pick up a couple of small bags of the stuff. We had to wrap them in about 5 layers of plastic in order to ensure nothing 'leaked' into our clothing in our suitcases... Last thing I want is a 'Sichuan itch' :-)

In Chengdu we had a dish of Ma Po Do Fu which was loaded with so much peppercorns (whole and ground) I thought I had nuclear fission triggered off in my mouth !

It was fun though ;-)

Rgds
Rick

p.s. hopefully will be posting some pics and tales of our China culinary adventures soon...

#441 Daznz

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 01:03 AM

:biggrin: Yea i must say there a crazy little spice i think i might up the amount i put in dishes :blink:

#442 jo-mel

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 04:29 AM

The sichuan peppercorns tend to lose the potency over time.  I used to think sichuan peppercorns did not seem such a big deal when I chewed on them... that was based on a jar that I bought way back when (stored for many years).  When I bought a new package from the market and tried it out....  it's like novacaine.

If you chew on the sichuan peppercorns and you don't feel the numbing effect, just ditch them and buy some new ones.

I got mine in the USA (Sacramento).  I think these things are imported from China so it shouldn't matter where they are sold.

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Ditto!

#443 Pat Churchill

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 09:53 PM

Thanks for ya help people well i put one ground Sichuan pepper in my mouth
and im getting all those effects so i guess they might not be to bad. :smile:
I look forward to your article Pat.. after about 15mins the fizzyness is dropping in the mouth a little  :biggrin:

Dale

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Here's the link for the tuna tataki with Szechuan pepper.

Thinking about it, Dale, the Szechuan pepper I bought when I was living in NZ was almost black and had a lot of twiggy bits in it. There's a pic of my current lot at the top of the tuna recipe page.

According to Ian Hemphill in his book Spice Notes, the seeds have little discernible flavour and should be discarded because they are gritty. My lot are mainly open pods and no seeds.

Aren't spices fascinating! If anyone wants a good spice website, Gernot Katzer's pages are first class.
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#444 Daznz

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 01:23 PM

Cheers Pat mmmm that tuna dish looks great :biggrin: . The Sichuan i have here
does look the same as your pic. So they must have improved over here i found
two seeds in the pack i wonder how hard it is to grow. It looks like quite a big tree. Fresh Sichuan pepper corns :biggrin:
Thanks for the great spice link too.
Dale

Edited by Daznz, 19 April 2007 - 01:25 PM.


#445 Dianabanana

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 06:28 PM

I really hope this particular oddity hasn't been discussed in this thread already--I need to use my Szechuan peppercorns and there's not enough time to read all 13 pages! My bag of Golden Flower brand Szechuan pepper states, alarmingly:

"Raw food please wash under tap water at least 5 minutes before cooking. Please cook in hot boiling water for 30 minutes before consuming."

What the . . . ??? None of my cookbooks mentions anything like this. My first thought was that the manufacturer knows their peppercorns are contaminated with nuclear waste or whatever and is helpfully offering suggestions for decontamination. But since when do manufacturers of contaminated products warn consumers about it? And they can't be serious--boil for 30 minutes?

What should I do?

#446 Prawncrackers

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 05:24 AM

I've never heard of washing or boiling sichuan peppercorns before using. Surely you would lose all their potency! Could it be a case of bad engrish perhaps?

#447 Big Bunny

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 05:44 AM

I've never heard of washing or boiling sichuan peppercorns before using.  Surely you would lose all their potency!  Could it be a case of bad engrish perhaps?

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It sounds like extreme CYA.

BB
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#448 The Blissful Glutton

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 05:56 AM

I was recently in HK and we went to an amazingly good Szechuan restaurant. The peppercorns were much stronger than those I have had in the States. I took a close-up:
Posted Image

Here was the whole dish--Shan City beef.
Posted Image

Edited by The Blissful Glutton, 12 October 2007 - 05:57 AM.






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