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Sichuan Peppercorn


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

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?).

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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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?).

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

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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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?

--

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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

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  • 1 month later...

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. :)

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  • 4 months later...

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

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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!)

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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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!)

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 ?

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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.

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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.

Website: http://cookingdownunder.com

Blog: http://cookingdownunder.com/blog

Twitter: @patinoz

The floggings will continue until morale improves

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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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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"
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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...

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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.

Ditto!

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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

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.

Website: http://cookingdownunder.com

Blog: http://cookingdownunder.com/blog

Twitter: @patinoz

The floggings will continue until morale improves

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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 (log)
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  • 5 months later...

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?

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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?

It sounds like extreme CYA.

BB

Food is all about history and geography.

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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:

gallery_41537_5189_66905.jpg

Here was the whole dish--Shan City beef.

gallery_41537_5189_21343.jpg

Edited by The Blissful Glutton (log)
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