Spice Trade — sichuan pepper

... and a few other articles on cooking with spices!

Recipe: Mapo Doufu (includes a vegetarian option)

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When I first received Sichuan peppercorn from my father-in-law, I didn’t know what to do. Until I met my husband, I had been cooking mapo doufu with toban djan and miso, and I thought I was doing it right. After meeting him, I was introduced to the whole new world of Chinese cooking, specifically, Sichuan dishes, and I was blown away. They were so good. Now I cannot make mapo doufu without Sichuan pepper. The glorious aroma of Sichuan peppercorn combined together with chili, garlic, ginger and toban djan makes the dish so flavorful. Over the year, I have also come up...

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Sichuan-style spicy chicken

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This is one of the most famous recipes coming from Sichuan Province. Our recipe is true to tradition, and nearly unaltered version of “辣子雞丁 Làzǐ jī dīng”. Be wary though, it’s hot, but so full of flavour. As it’s rapidly stir fried in a wok, lots of hot tianjin chillies are needed to create the heat, colour and aroma of the dish. A little bit of sugar is needed to offset the intense heat and create a better balance of flavours. We’ve also opened to use Pink Himalayan Salt as opposed to traditional sea salt for a little extra sour...

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Sichuan Pepper market update

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Sichuan Pepper comes in a few varieties. Contrary to what the name suggests, it doesn’t all come from Sichuan Province! Much weaker, cheaper varieties of sichuan peppercorns are grown and sold all throughout China, with prices varying by over 100%! In addition to Sichuan Province, Sichuan Pepper grows in Shaanxi, Shandong, Guangdong and further to other parts of Asia outside China! These look very different, and taste even more different. Various types of Sichuan Peppers. Left to right: Green Sichuan Pepper, Sichuan Province Grade A, Shaanxi Province Grade A There are many grades and varieties, of which above we’ve taken...

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Sichuan style cold cucumber salad

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Sichuan food is known for being spicy all over China. But the spice is rather unique to Sichuan Province. It’s not merely lots of heat from chillies, but a numbing-cooling and very addictive heat given off by Sichuan Peppercorns. These little, red peppercorns will blast your senses with their tell-tale numbing-heat, known as “Ma La” (麻辣). This cold cucumber salad is the perfect introduction to Sichuan cuisine. The heat is milder, and well balanced with the cucumbers. The ingredients are also very simple, and rely deeply on freshness and quality. Thanks to the sugar and chikiang vinegar which is naturally...

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