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looking for szechuan/sichuan peppercorns

99 Ranch Daly City is sold out and say that they haven't had them for a while. Where have you found szechuan/sichuan peppercorns recently in or near SF? Thanks.

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    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Took your suggestion and went there this evening. They didn't have it, and they say they haven't had it for years (i.e., since importation was banned). Have you bought whole Szechuan peppercorns there recently?

    2. I believe that I saw them at SF Herb Company on 14th street last week. About $8.75 for a one pound bag. Definitely call to confirm (415.861.7174). I didn't examine them, so don't know quality (ok, I wouldn't know what to look for anyway), but the company always has fresh spices. www.sfherb.com

      1. If you can't find them locally, Penzey's has them available by mail order. I have always been impressed with the quality of spices from Penzeys.


        1 Reply
        1. re: glazebrookgirl

          We buy a lot of spices from Penzey's even when they are available locally, since the quality's so high.

          Outside of Indian stores, which I don't think carry sichuan peppercorns, the best quality and selection of spices I've found is at Lhasa Karnak in Berkeley. http://www.herb-inc.com

        2. They are available in Chinatown on the east side of Stockton. Without a stroll through Chinatown to refresh my memory, I can't do any better than that. I submit, however, that the search will be every bit as pleasurable as the discovery. And unless you read Chinese, you must be able to recognize sichuan peppercorns when you see them.

          My pepper grinder contains 80% tellicherries & 20% sichuan peppercorns.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Paul H

            I bought some over a year ago in Chinatown, and the package says "red prickly ash," I believe.

          2. Try Richmond New May Wah Supermarket on Clement & 8th. I bought some there a few months ago.

            1. I definitely saw them recently at Marina Market in San Mateo and at the Ranch 99 in Foster City.

              1. Thanks for all the suggestions. I set off on a stroll around Chinatown, and the first place I went into had a 1-lb bag for $7. It is Wan Hua, an herbalist at 665 Jackson. Roasted a few, put them in the spice grinder, and ground then onto my first at-home dan dan mien tonight.

                I wonder why 99 Ranch in Daly City hasn't carried them for a while, and why the buyer at Rainbow told me they're very hard to find even though the importation ban has been lifted.

                2 Replies
                1. re: david kaplan

                  Six months ago I got some at the 99Ranch in Foster City. But it was a mix not all picky ash. I wish it was closer but in Oct of last year I got a pound in Rickmond BC the real stuff. But the store where Paul H got his is on Stockton on the East side between Jackson and Pacific and as you go from Jackson to Pacific it is the first and larger of the store.

                  1. re: yimster

                    That's Lien Hing, I believe. That's where I last bought some, and Paul is right, they're labeled "Red Prickly Ash" in English (and "Hua Jiao" in Chinese).

                2. i just bought some at whole foods in berkeley. i was shocked to see them there, so i had to snatch them up! they were pricier than sf herb, but seem to be fresh enough. it was like 4.50 for a little plastic tub from bulk, but they were in the prepackaged spice section.

                  1. Sunset Super on Irving (look for "red prickly ash" as noted above) had them recently as did the Pasta Shop on 4th street in Berkeley.