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Apr 21, 2005 04:20 PM

Szechuan Peppercorns - the Chinese name, please?

  • w

I could (and have) lingered all day trying to describe what I want (Szechuan peppercorns) to a shopkeeper, or I could ask for exactly the right thing by its Chinese name. (I finally figured out this principle trying to get fenugreek at an Ethiopian market ("abish") and an Indian market ("methi") which both carried it as a staple, but swore to me that they had no fenugreek.

Now, can anyone help me find that out?

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    Professor Salt

    "Hua jiao"

    4 Replies
    1. re: Professor Salt

      The problem is if you don't say it with the proper intonation the shopkeeper still probably wouldn't understand what you are talking about. It's best if you could show them the Chinese characters or at least a picture.

      1. re: bobcat

        Just thought to add, "hua jiao" literally means "flower pepper," so they might understand you if you asked for that instead.

        1. re: bobcat

          maybe you can print this page to take with you.



          1. re: jennyantepenultimate

            Alternatively, my friend from Beijing calls it "ma jiao". It describes the numbing effect of the peppers.

            THe said the "ma" is the same word "ma" from ma po tofu, the name of that popular spicy dish. Say "ma" kind of quickly, in a low voice.

            The last hound's chinese characters were most helpful. That'll be your best bet.