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Sichuan/Szechuan Peppercorns

Hungry4Good Dec 16, 2006 10:50 PM

Does anyone know where to find Sichuan peppercorns in L.A.? And, some favorite uses? I have a wonderful Jeremiah Tower recipe for lamb racks marinated in Sichuan peppercorns and honey.

  1. p
    Paliman Dec 16, 2006 10:52 PM

    You can get them at Penzy's now that they are legal again. For a while they were only available under the counter.


    5 Replies
    1. re: Paliman
      Hungry4Good Dec 16, 2006 11:38 PM

      Thanks for the source. I need them in the next few days so have to look local. I guess the spice place in the Farmer's Market has closed (haven't been there in a year) - phone number is disconnected.

      1. re: Hungry4Good
        Das Ubergeek Dec 17, 2006 02:08 PM

        Penzeys have a store in Torrance, at Hawthorne and Torrance Blvds. Bring a non-Hound and give him or her control of the credit card.

        1. re: Das Ubergeek
          Hungry4Good Dec 17, 2006 03:52 PM


          1. re: Das Ubergeek
            Pei Dec 17, 2006 06:00 PM

            CAUTION: Penzey's is incredible enough to make non-hounds switch to the right team! Last time I ended up with more spices in my basket.

            "This is so cool, we never come out here, let's try this one, you might as well get this too, what's (fill in the blank)?..."

            1. re: Pei
              Dommy Dec 18, 2006 06:57 PM

              The other great thing about Penzeys though is you can buy a small amount for CHEAP!!! So while I do go wild everytime I visit, It's never too much of a hit on my wallet... :)


      2. Chowpatty Dec 16, 2006 11:35 PM

        I go a big jar of them at Surfas, only about $3.50. But like you, I'm not sure what to do with them, as I'm not much of a Szechwan cook.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Chowpatty
          Hungry4Good Dec 16, 2006 11:43 PM

          thank you...of course Surfa's! I hear they impart a very interesting flavor and aroma. I thought the honey/pepper marinade with lamb might be an interesting yet non-Asian way to try them out - for Xmas Eve dinner.

          1. re: Chowpatty
            Dommy Dec 18, 2006 06:58 PM

            No fancy recipes required!! They taste awesome ground and put into soups and on steamed veggies... I have a baggie of ground in my desk when I need to add a little ZING to something... :)


            1. re: Dommy
              Hungry4Good Dec 20, 2006 10:13 PM

              Do you grind it all? Stem, seeds and husk?

              1. re: Hungry4Good
                sel Dec 20, 2006 11:05 PM

                I also keep a stash. I remove as many of the stems as I can, gently roast in a wok and when cool grind in a blade type coffee grinder.

          2. SilverlakeGirl Dec 17, 2006 12:40 AM

            Anyone know if you can buy the big cello bags in Chinese markets?

            I like to prepare some for immediate use and keep them on the side ... the rest are left in the hulls for later use.

            I put some in a big cast iron skillet and heat them until they release their full aroma. Then I throw them in the Cuisinart and whirl for a minute or two. Put them into a large dry sieve and sift.

            Throw away the large hulls and reside that was left in the sieve. Put the sifted powder into a small jar with a tight lid and use for whatever recipe you desire.

            1 Reply
            1. re: SilverlakeGirl
              NumeroUnoEat Dec 17, 2006 01:58 AM

              Call this foody spice joint in Santa Monica late afternoon Sunday,
              good chance you'll find 'em there:
              Le Sanctuaire
              2710 Main St
              Santa Monica, CA 90405
              (310) 581-8999

            2. b
              BearCity Dec 17, 2006 09:36 AM

              I just bought a 4 oz. bag at 99 Ranch Market in Van Nuys for $1.89.

              1 Reply
              1. re: BearCity
                Hungry4Good Dec 17, 2006 03:53 PM

                Dang, they're definintely in the food supply now!

              2. s
                sel Dec 17, 2006 05:44 PM

                5 lb. bag for $5.00. Smaller sizes also available.

                168 Market
                1421 E. Valley Blvd.
                Alhambra, CA 91801

                For good recipes try some of these(I double the amount of Sichuan Pepper in all recipes, since the USDA ban they seem less potent):



                1. q
                  Quaich Dec 17, 2006 06:06 PM

                  Penzeys has excellent ones and have a store in Torrance S/W corner of Torrance/Hawthorne Blvds. (310)406-3877.

                  1. c
                    cpanagakis Dec 18, 2006 06:45 PM

                    You can also pick them up at 99 Ranch (Sepulveda at Victory, northeast corner, in Van Nuys). They're labeled as "dried peppercorn" or something equally misleading in the spice aisle. Look for the pink bag with the panda on it.

                    1. t
                      the donut Dec 18, 2006 07:01 PM

                      I got them at the Shun Fat in Monterey Park. They're kind of hard to find--on the bottom shelf of the spice aisle and they are labelled as "dried peppercorn" there as well, though I don't remember if there's a panda on the label. If you're not too familiar with them, maybe you should check out a picture before you go.


                      As for uses, my husband makes mapo tofu and braised sichuan pork from Fuschia Dunlop's book using sichuan peppercorn. I had the most amazing sichuan peppercorn ice cream in Buenos Aires which I have yet to attempt to make. Somehow the cold neutralized the spice and only left the citrus-y ma la taste. It was remarkable.

                      1. k
                        Kishari Dec 18, 2006 08:42 PM

                        To the OP Hungry4Good: ooooh, can you please post the Tower lamb recipe on Home Cooking? Thanks.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Kishari
                          Hungry4Good Dec 19, 2006 02:19 PM

                          sure, will do later today.

                        2. l
                          ladelfa Dec 22, 2006 08:44 PM

                          Hawaii Supermarket on Valley Blvd. in San Gabriel has Sichuan peppercorn in restaurant-size bags, if you really need that much. When you go in the front door, turn to the right. All the restaurant stuff is there.

                          All the chinese supermarkets in this area stock SPC in the smaller for-home size bags, about $1-2. They'll be next to the crushed red chili, typically. It's useful to know that they're sometimes called "prickly ash."

                          Oh, and it's the wrinkly little dark-red hulls, not the shiny black seeds, that have most of the flavor. I keep some SPC in a pepper grinder. One thing I've found that's fantastic is leftover pasta (e.g. penne) drizzled with olive oil, a dusting of ground cayenne pepper, and several turns of the SPC grinder. It's good warm and it's good cold.

                          1. j
                            Jerome Dec 22, 2006 09:13 PM

                            If you go to a Chinese market, and you can't find them, the chinese (mandarin) name is Hua Jiao.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Jerome
                              Das Ubergeek Dec 22, 2006 11:23 PM

                              Cantonese is "faa jiu" but most places will be more likely to speak to you in Mandarin, since most are Taiwanese-owned.

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