Szechuan Peppercorns are a native Chinese spice with a unique citrusy and slightly wood-infused pepper flavor and a strong heat that has a mild numbing effect on the tongue.
Ready to use either whole or ground. Add to taste.
Storage & handling
Store in a dry, cool place.
Szechuan Peppercorns (Zanthoxylum bungeanum)-called "hua jiao" or "flower pepper" in Chinese-are the dried reddish-brown berry husks of the prickly ash tree, which is indigenous to the Central Chinese Szechuan province. This area is known worldwide for its spicy cuisine, and Szechuan Peppercorns are central to these culinary traditions. They have a citrusy and slightly wood-infused pepper flavor with a moderate heat that has a mild numbing effect on the lips and tongue, due to the presence of the chemical compound herculin. Herculin acts on the skin differently than the capsaicin present in hot chile peppers, which produces a burning effect.
While the outer husk of the prickly ash berry is sold as Szechuan Peppercorn, the softer interior part of the berry is often ground and included as an ingredient in Chinese five-spice powder.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the Szechuan Peppercorn was used to stimulate digestion by acting on the function of the pancreas. It is also thought to have has anti-inflammatory properties, and to stimulate circulation, reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and help reduce high blood pressure.
Salty and fiery, this classic recipe is the perfect way to showcase the tongue-numbing flavor of our Sichuan Peppercorns, which are known for the complexity and heat they bring to dishes.