Sichuan pepper properties

(Zanthoxylum piperitum)


What is the Sichuan pepper?

Sichuan pepper is a small fruit that a Japanese pepper plant (Zanthoxylum piperitum) produces, a plant of the same botanical family as the orange and lemon.

Sichuan pepper fruits are characteristic reddish-brown and about the size of black pepper (Piper nigrum). They are used as an aromatic spice in cuisines all over the world, especially in Asia.

Despite its name, this plant has no botanical relationship with pepper (Piper spp.), But it has been designated the same name because of its resemblance to the color of the seed and the spiciness of the real peppers.

sichuan pepper

What flavor is the Sichuan pepper?

It tastes strong, spicy and sour at the same time, with hints of citrus scent, combining in meat preparations (eg carpaccio), fish, shellfish. It is used to make breads and even sweet recipes. Because of its intense spiciness, is considered one of the strongest peppers in gastronomy.

Properties of Sichuan pepper

– Sichuan pepper, like all the spices of the cuisine, has a high antioxidant power. This is due to its content of aromatic substances and taste providing both health. The antioxidant value for Sichuan pepper is 118,400 ORAC values per 100g. (ORAC scale Values), a high value.

Therefore, preparations with Sichuan pepper are aimed, not only as a spice, but to enrich the diet of natural antioxidants.

– The main spicy component Sichuan pepper is sanshool. Sanshool, is responsible for the tingling that occurs in the mouth when you chew Sichuan pepper seeds and the very refreshing taste

How to take Sichuan pepper?

– We recommend roasting the beans in the pan so that they have a stronger scent.

– Often the drawback of this pepper is due to its texture, as its hard shell can annoy or even can cause choking. It is therefore recommended to roast and grind the beans finely.

– It is recommended to add at the end of cooking to provide all its properties and aroma.

– Sichuan pepper provides very good flavor when used in papillotes, marinated and masses (pizzas, pasta, breads, pastries).

Uses of Sichuan pepper in the kitchen

– In China is one, of the ingredients of the popular aromatic blend “the 5 spice powder”, comprises a mixture of spices balanced according to the energetic concepts of Yin and Yang. The five spices containing this preparation are: Sichuan pepper, star anise, cloves, cinnamon and fennel.

– In India, the Sichuan pepper is used to be added to curry mixes.

– Is used in Japan and is called Shichimi ground.

– The young leaves are used to make soups and miso.

– The flower buds are used to produce soy sauce and rice vinegar.

Where to buy Sichuan pepper?

Sichuan pepper is available in the markets, specialty food stores and gourmet shops. You can also shop it in online stores.

Sichuan pepper was forbidden in the United States

Although the Sansho has been used by Asian cuisine for centuries, in 1968 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States banned the of trade Sichuan pepper nationwide.

The reason for the ban was because this spice was carrying a citrus pathogenic bacteria called Xanthomonas. The bacteria Xanthomonas are devastating citrus plants, causing anthracnose or anturio in plants (Xanthomonas axonopodis).

The ban was revoked in 2005 and currently Sichuan pepper is imported to USA properly treated to remove any bacteria.

punto rojo More information about Sichuan pepper and other types of peppers.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

11 December, 2019

Other interesting articles

This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
"Botanical-online" is not responsible for damages caused by self-medication.