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    Kitchen Dictionary: Szechuan peppercorn

    Not a true peppercorn, but rather the dried berry/seed of a deciduous prickly ash tree. The 3-4 mm berry has a rough reddish brown shell that is split open and a black seed inside. The black seed is bitter and can be discarded. The red shell can be added whole to stewed dishes or ground to a powder and used a seasoning. The spice has a unique aroma and flavor that is not as pungent as black pepper and has slight lemony overtones. Szechuan peppercorns are one of the five spices in Chinese five-spice powder. Called sansho in Japan, they are used in the spice mixture shichimi togarashi, or Japanese seven-spice seasoning.

    plural: Szechuan peppercorn

    Ethnicity: Chinese, Szechuan Ingredient

    Season: available year-round

    How to select: The spice is best purchased whole and ground as needed. Can sometimes be found in bulk at health food and gourmet stores.

    How to prepare: They are generally used in either of two ways: For stir fried dishes: heat a dry skillet (no oil) on medium flame and add the Szechuan peppercorns. Toss and stir until they start to smoke a little. (Don't burn them). When cool enough to work with grind them in a spice mill, mortar & pestle or pepper grinder. (an electric coffee grinder can be used for grinding spices). Use whatever the recipe calls for and freeze the rest in a plastic container. For stews: add them whole along with the other seasonings and remove before serving.

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    Nutrition Facts

    Calculated for 1
    Amount Per Serving %DV
    Calories 0
    Calories from Fat (%)
    Total Fat 0.0g %
    Saturated Fat 0.0g %
    Monounsaturated Fat 0.0g
    Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0g
    Trans Fat 0.0g
    Cholesterol 0mg %
    Sodium 0mg %
    Potassium 0mg %
    Total Carbohydrate 0.0g %
    Dietary Fiber 0.0g %
    Sugars 0.0g
    Protein 0.0g %

    How is this calculated?

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