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Mar 5, 2007 04:39 PM

Szechuan peppercorn recipes?

I just purchsed Szechuan peppercorns for the first time, and would love to hear some ideas as to what to do with them. I tasted one straight from the canister: the sour, citrusy taste came first, followed by a raging, spicy burn on my lips and tongue. I plan to toast and grind them right now, but then what to make for dinner?
I've been looking in some of my cookbooks, but there must be some great ideas out there...

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  1. I have been meaning to try this recipe but haven't yet. This site is currently the cookbook of the month on this board. My wife is very very pregnant at the moment and can't really deal with her usual heat tolerance so I have to wait..But just 2 more weeks hopefully! Maybe people have posted about it on the March Cookbook of the month thread..I haven't looked

    1. mapo tofu, I believe some recipes call for szechuan/sichuan peppercorns

      1. I am in Sichuan right now and they are in everything - french fries are tossed in the numbing pepper, it's used in rubs before grilling or roasting chicken/pork/rabbit, the cured sausage I received is full of it, flatbread is topped with pepper-seasoned meat, you can stir fry green beans and season with it, etc. Toast/grind in small amounts as you use them because they do lose their flavour quickly after the grinding, and experiment - it is a quite distinctive taste that not all people enjoy (lots of my fellow foreigners here are not enamored with them, to say the least....)

        2 Replies
        1. re: pepper_mil

          I see that a year has passed since this thread was written, but just in case!
          I'd really like to try the Craig Claiborne chicken bean thread/ Sichuan peppercorn recipe. It sounds good! I've looked in Craig Claiborne International and his Chinese Cookbook. No can find. Help us out!

          1. re: Huarmi

            Look up Pon Pon Chicken, apparently the recipe was adapted from their chinese cookbook. I see the CH guidelines allow some ingredient lists, which would include cooked chicken breast, sesame paste, hot chili oil, salt sugar, soy sauce, sesame oli, garlic, wine vinegar, oil, cilantro and of course sichuan peppercorns. An internet search may turn up the newspaper recipe or at least something close. Makes a terrific cold dish.

        2. Say, if anyone knows how to grind these so they don't taste gritty let me know, they seem to be mostly dry husk which is hard to reduce to a powder. Craig Claiborne has a chicken- bean thread noodle recipe which has been fantastic for us, I'll look up the name if you want.

          1. The husks are actually the part you want. If you're the obsessive type, removing the black seeds is only to the good - but you do need time on your hands and a certainy amount of compulsiveness. Toast them first - as you should do just for the flavor - and the husks should grind just fine. Quite often they're used with salt, too, and that help with the grinding, at least if you're using a mortar & pestle.