On the SIXTEENTH day of Christmas The Spice Trader gave to me:

SZECHUAN PEPPERCORNS

SZECHUAN PEPPER is native to the Szechuan province of China and is the dried berry of the prickly ash. The aroma is warm, peppery and fragrant with distinct citrus notes. The flavour is pungent and biting with warm lemon overtones and produces a strange, numbing, anaesthetic feeling on the tongue.

Pungent Szechuan peppercorns mixed with salt for a roasted blend is very common. It can be used as a dip for Szechuan dishes or it is great rubbed onto pork or steak before cooking.

Here is a recipe for roasted Szechuan peppercorn salt:

    • 1 tablespoon Szechuan peppercorns
    • 3 tablespoons sea salt
    • Heat cleaned and trimmed Szechuan peppercorns and sea salt in a heavy frying pan over medium-low heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until wisps of smoke appear and the mixture is fragrant, about 10 minutes.
    • Allow the mixture to cool, then grind. Use to season Szechuan dishes and braised meats.