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Apr 21, 2005 01:46 PM

Szechuan Peppercorns -- Got 'em, Now What?

  • j

Help, I bought them because I remembered reading how great they are and hard to find. But now that I have a bag of them, how do I use them?

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  1. They were banned for a time because they carried a disease that threatened our citrus crop. They are now easily available.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DK

      I thought I had read on here that the ban was lifted, but the buying experience (at Kalustyan's, a store in NYC that should know better) was very cloak and dagger. The shopkeeper seemed to be looking for the immediate presence of Dept. of Homeland Security operatives before slipping me a bag of them.

      So what do I do with them?

      1. re: josephsm

        Google search the chowhound pages for recipes.

        I posted one for spicy japanese eggplant not long ago.
        It's potency works wonders in a meat rub or meat marinade. Just crack or crush them before you toss them into the mix.

        The Szechuan pepper flavour combines very well with fresh red chili peppers, orange zest, green peppers, beef, lamb, duck, chicken.

    2. Roast Duck - separate the skin from the meat (either by hand ro w/ and air compressor)...grind the pepper along with other spices and something to bind them, then place under the skin a roast at a high temp. Even better, deep fry it in peanut oil.

      1. Toast them in a dry skillet. Grind them up. Season your Sichuan food with them. Make your own Chinese five-spice powder: Sichuan peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise. Yum!


        1. "Land of Plenty: A Treasury of Authentic Sichuan Cooking" by Fuchsia Dunlop is a great cookbook with lots of recipes featuring Sichuan peppercorns. You can buy it on Amazon. I love the bright, berry taste of the fresh ones and often use more than her recipes call for.