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Feb 18, 2014 10:37 PM

Singapore Sichuan Groceries

Hi everyone,

I have a feeling this is an unusual -- perhaps because its so obvious -- request for the board, but I am looking for a place to buy good Sichuan peppercorns. I'm a recently arrived American who loves Sichuan food from my exposure in the US. I don't have a big expat package and also care about my health a bit too much to eat out all the time, so I'm trying to cook at home a lot. I live in the west (and work in university ghetto also in the west), and can get Sichuan peppercorns in my local ShengSiong (Happy Family brand), but the quality, in my opinion, is not very good. Perhaps they are not very fresh?

I'm wondering if there are particular stores that tend to cater more to the PRC population here that might have better ones? I manage to get to the Geylang area quite often, where there are a lot of Sichuan restaurants, so recommendations in that area would be particularly convenient. Also I guess the bigger the better store-wise, because I'd love to see what else I could pick up there at isn't available at ShengSiong/FairPrice/Cold Storage.

Apologies if this is a laughably newbie question! Thanks!

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  1. I have been happy with Yue Hwa Chinese Products in Chinatown, 70 Eu Tong Sen Street. Groceries are up on level 3. Very convenient to Chinatown MRT. They have Sichuan peppercorns, bean paste, dried chillies, and most other necessities.

    I was surprised coming from US, as I thought things like Sichuan peppercorns would be easier to find here than in US. Very few northern Chinese products in local grocery stores.

    On the bright side, Sichuan peppercorn imported to the US is heated to high temperature, which seems to kill the flavor. Here, you can buy peppercorn and ground powder, and both are much more powerful--you'll need to adjust recipes accordingly.

    Sadly, still seems to be impossible to find mala niurou gan (Sichuan beef jerky).


    5 Replies
      1. re: pixian

        i think you'll find that alot of non-southern chinese food is not really that abundant in singapore as its generally not as popular as the southern chinese cuisines that are the native cuisines (hokkien, teochew, cantonese, hakka etc). China is a huge country and its really like saying European food. Also, i think generally the view of alot of southerns is their food is better

        that said sichuan food is fairly readily available in singapore

        1. re: Lau

          Strange, who here implied that such a thing as "Chinese cuisine," as a monolithic entity, existed?

          I asked specifically about buying ingredients (not prepared food) that are often used in Sichuan food, and Pixian answered accordingly.

          1. re: Lau

            Oh, ha, now that I look at the board, I think that you responded to the wrong Sichuan in Singapore thread! Well...Sichuan cuisine -- it's on the rise!

            1. re: stephaniet

              stephaniet - i was replying to the comment "I was surprised coming from US, as I thought things like Sichuan peppercorns would be easier to find here than in US. Very few northern Chinese products in local grocery stores."

        2. An update: tonight I saw a vacuum packed package of Hein brand prickly ask/Sichuan peppercorns in a deli/small store on Lorong 22 in Geylang, just north of Geylang Rd on the west side. (The store is nothing special.)

          WOW. My mind...and tongue!...are blown. I've never had Sichuan food in China, but I've had a fair amount of it in the US and I've never experienced ma la like this before!

          Hein is imported from Chengdu. Approximately a jillion times better than the Happy Family brand.