Szechuan Pepper

Indigenous to China, Szechuan peppercorns are not really pepper at all.   Iinstead are the outer pod of the fruit of an aromatic shrub. Szechuan berries are very fragrant and provide an unusual, sharp flavor that begins mildly warm with earthy, lemony undertones and then quickly evolves to an almost numbing sensation on the tongue They are a key spice in the cuisine of Chinese province of Szechuanand they’re also widely used in Batak, Bhutanese, Japanese, Konkani, Nepalese.

Sichuan Peppercorns go well in combination with black beans, chili, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, soy sauce and star anise.  It is complex and surprising flavor is often used to intensify the flavor of cheese, chicken, seafood and vegetables. Home chefs who love to add an exotic, captivating twist to a dish will use it as a substitute for black pepper.