Szechuan Pepper Oil
I am addicted to the szechuan pepper oil at my new Chinese take out place. It's spicy and numbing and very delicious. The dish is simple: noodles, green onions and sprouts tossed with this szechuan pepper oil. Also the steamed dumplings are good with the oil as a dipping sauce. I'd love to make this at home, especially since the other ingredients are so easy to prepare. Any ideas where I can find a recipe for this wonderful oil? Or is it an already prepared product that I should look for at an Asian grocer?
Toast 1 tablespoon of Szechuan peppercorns in a dry skillet over a medium-low flame just until they become aromatic.
Cool, and crack/crush lightly with a mortar & pestle (or put them in a plastic bag or kitchen towel and smack them a few times with a rolling pin or frying pan).
Heat 1 cup of peanut or canola oil in a saucepan, add crushed peppercorns, and leave them in the oil over the heat for 10 minutes to let them steep.
Strain the peppercorns out, and store the oil in a glass container.
You can make larger volumes if you want to - just use 1 Tbsp of peppercorns per cup of oil.
i agree with this approach, although i don't heat the oil, as i find it takes on a different flavor, especially if it's going to be cooked again. i just heat the peppercorns, chili flakes (i use korean, which may or may not be anything special), and then put them in a neutral oil, unheated. plenty of flavor comes out.