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 Sichuan Peppercorns -- They're Back

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Grampy

  • Total Posts: 1559
  • Joined: 10/14/2002
  • Location: Greenfield, MA
Sichuan Peppercorns -- They're Back Tue, 10/19/04 11:19 AM (permalink)
As some of you know, Sichuan peppercorns were banned by the FDA a while ago. Happily, these indispensible gems for Sichuan cooking have recently been approved for import.

A Basic Recipe for Sichuan Cabbage
1 1/2 lbs. Chinese or green cabbage
2 TB peanut or vegetable oil
6 dried chiles
2 TB Sichuan peppercorns
1 TB soy sauce
1 TB sesame oil
Splash Chinkiang or other Chinese black vinegar

Cut cabbage into 1 1/2 x 1/2 inch slivers.
Heat oil in wok and briefly stir-fry chiles and peppercorns until fragrant. Add cabbage and stir-fry a few minutes. blend in soy, then sesame oil for another 30 seconds. Splash in vinegar.
 
#1
    essvee

    • Total Posts: 425
    • Joined: 2/14/2002
    • Location: Oakland, CA
    RE: Sichuan Peppercorns -- They're Back Tue, 10/19/04 12:07 PM (permalink)
    Yummy recipe, Grampy. Funny, one of the reasons I left the Happy Valley back in 92 was so I could procure such exotica as Sichuan peppercorns. The times, they have changed, no?

    Do you leave the peppercorns whole or should you crush them?
     
    #2
      Grampy

      • Total Posts: 1559
      • Joined: 10/14/2002
      • Location: Greenfield, MA
      RE: Sichuan Peppercorns -- They're Back Tue, 10/19/04 12:16 PM (permalink)
      Leave the peppercorns whole. Unlike other peppercorns, these are the dried pepper husks, and they are quite delicate. If you want to use the ground version, lightly fry them in a dry pan for a few minutes first. The latter can be sprinkled on finished dishes.
       
      #3
        zataar

        • Total Posts: 1440
        • Joined: 4/5/2004
        • Location: kansas city, MO
        RE: Sichuan Peppercorns -- They're Back Tue, 10/19/04 12:21 PM (permalink)
        I'm glad to see that the sichuan peppercorns are back, my contraband stash is getting very low. I usually very gently barely crush them. What I'm having trouble finding now is the dried sichuan chile. They have a very different heat than the red dried chiles from Thailand. Sweeter maybe. The cabbage sounds great, Grampy. I just checked out a Sichuan cookbook from the library call Land Of Plenty, by Fuschia Dunlop. Very interesting. The best Gong Bao Chicken I've made.
         
        #4
          Grampy

          • Total Posts: 1559
          • Joined: 10/14/2002
          • Location: Greenfield, MA
          RE: Sichuan Peppercorns -- They're Back Tue, 10/19/04 12:27 PM (permalink)
          Land Of Plenty is my Sichuan bible. Because of its mix of recipes and culture, it is probably one of the best cookbooks out there and deserves to be on any cook's shelf. The cabbage recipe is a variation on Dunlop's Sichuan potato.
           
          #5
            zataar

            • Total Posts: 1440
            • Joined: 4/5/2004
            • Location: kansas city, MO
            RE: Sichuan Peppercorns -- They're Back Tue, 10/19/04 12:41 PM (permalink)
            quote:
            Originally posted by Grampy

            Land Of Plenty is my Sichuan bible. Because of its mix of recipes and culture, it is probably one of the best cookbooks out there and deserves to be on any cook's shelf. The cabbage recipe is a variation on Dunlop's Sichuan potato.

            I'm sure I'll buy the book. It is charmingly written and very straight forward. I'm looking forward to cooking some of the fish and seafood dishes. I'm going to find those sichuan chiles somewhere. All of the markets in my area tend toward the southeast asian, so I'll try Adriana's Caravan or Penzey's.
             
            #6
              essvee

              • Total Posts: 425
              • Joined: 2/14/2002
              • Location: Oakland, CA
              RE: Sichuan Peppercorns -- They're Back Tue, 10/19/04 1:08 PM (permalink)
              I haven't seen Land of Plenty. It sounds like a gooder. The Szechwan tomes I use are Mrs. Chaing's Szechwan Cookbook, Harper and Row, 1976, and The Good Food of Szechwan, a Japanese book from 1974. I also use Yan-Kit So's Classic Food of China for all sorts of styles, including Szechwan. That's one of my all-time favorite cookbooks.
               
              #7
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