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looking for szechuan/sichuan peppercorns

david kaplan Oct 8, 2006 10:46 PM

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.

  1. Robert Lauriston Oct 8, 2006 11:26 PM

    Have you tried Rainbow Grocery?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      david kaplan Oct 9, 2006 03:43 AM

      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?

      1. re: david kaplan
        Robert Lauriston Oct 9, 2006 06:21 AM

        No, not recently.

    2. s
      SteveT Oct 9, 2006 06:05 AM

      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. glazebrookgirl Oct 9, 2006 03:48 PM

        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
          Robert Lauriston Oct 9, 2006 04:11 PM

          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. Paul H Oct 9, 2006 04:36 PM

          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
            Atomica Oct 9, 2006 09:13 PM

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

          2. c
            citygrrl Oct 9, 2006 09:11 PM

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

            1. p
              peppatty Oct 10, 2006 01:41 AM

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

              1. d
                david kaplan Oct 10, 2006 03:26 AM

                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
                  yimster Jan 25, 2007 07:08 PM

                  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
                    Gary Soup Jan 25, 2007 08:29 PM

                    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. t
                  throatboat Jan 25, 2007 05:19 PM

                  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. t
                    tranewreck Jan 26, 2007 07:58 AM

                    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.

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