Sichuan pepper also known as Szechuan pepper is a spice that is often seen as a secret weapon to bring some colour and mouth popping flavour to some of the simplest dishes.
The spice has a long history of being traditionally used in Chinese medicine for colds and reducing fever. In the past this tongue tingling spice has also been used as a token of affection, in rituals and ceremonies infused with wine to remove ‘evil spirits’ and with other spices and herbs to help preserve corpses. It’s even been the subject of wars and amazing expeditions to find out the best route to where it was grown!
Essential to lots of Szechuan dishes which in the Szechuan region are normally hotter than anywhere else in China, it is often paired with ginger or star anise and is one of the main ingredients that is found in five spice powder.
Add it to duck, chicken, pork, vegetables such as cabbage or noodles and it will help enhance the flavour of the dish and bring vibrancy to your plate!