Updated: Apr 10
Amazing Sichuan Peppercorns
Sichuan is an area in China that has an abundance of chillis, spices and more importantly, I may add the famous Sichuan pepper, this pepper is quite remarkable it has a flavour unlike any that I have tasted before, there is a slightly citrusy flavour that is sharply followed by strong peppery taste which then develops into an unusual numbing sensation.
This pepper is really the secret ingredient of Sichuan cuisine, a largely unknown pepper in Europe, having said that people are now starting to discover this pepper as well as use it in their cooking. So I would not be surprised if you are one of them, and the same can be said for those who have never heard of this pepper before.
Sichuan meaning in Chinese "four rivers" is a rich and fertile province, the largest in southwestern China. Famous for its plateaus, large forests, misty mountains, natural sanctuaries of giant pandas, it enjoys a climate that oscillates between wet monsoon winters and intense summer sun. In this province, the climate favours the development of a wide variety of plants, many of which are used in cooking.
Sichuan cuisine is famous all over the world for its subtlety as well as its spicy, aromatic and rich chilli flavours. It is one of the most characteristic regional cuisines of China. Chengdu is the capital of the province where Sichuan style cuisine originated from, it has also been honored as the “world's gastronomic capital” by Unesco. Its culinary tradition is based on "the rule of seven tastes", salty, sweet, sour, acidic, aromatic (combination garlic-ginger), toasted nuts and seeds (mainly sesame) and spicy.
Sichuan specialties are known for their spicy flavour, a flavour known as "spicy dry". According to Sichuan, the special feature of the "spicy dry" is that the spices used in the preparation of a dish consist of a mixture of dry ingredients: peppercorns (black, red or white) and dried crushed chillies. The chefs specializing in this Sichuan cuisine thus define the sensation provided by the "dry pepper”:
Therefore with this array of in incredible ingredients there is, as you can imagine an unbelievable amount of different dishes that can be created.
‘Pockmarked Granny' Bean Curd (Mapo Tofu), Spicy Diced Chicken (Kung Pao Chicken), Fuqi Fei Pian ('Husband and Wife Lung Slices’), Sìchuān huǒguō Sichuan Hot Pot, Dandan Mian (Dandan Noodles)
Ganbian Sijidou (Dry Stir-Fried Green Beans), Twice Cooked Pork huí guō ròu, just to name a few of the most famous ones.
This can be quite difficult to source all of these complex ingredients and then to mix them in the right quantities at the right times in the cooking process.
We decided to dedicate months of hard work and research to develop our own chilli sauce which we feel encapsulates all of the incredible flavours of this particular region.
Now you can enjoy the amazing flavours of Sichuan with ease in the comfort of your own home.
Sichuan pepper contains many different minerals, antioxidants, and nutrients that the body requires. Some of the most important components include potassium, vitamin A, iron, manganese, zinc, copper, and phosphorous. This is in addition to a wide variety of phytosterols, terpenes, and carotenes.
Top 10 Health Benefits
Thanks to the High levels of iron found in Sichuan pepper it will help ensure that there is enough hemoglobin in your body to oxygenate your red blood cells and stimulate the circulatory system.
Chemicals found in Sichuan peppers can occupy pain receptors, thus eliminating the nervous system from generating discomfort or pain. This isn’t a cure for pain, but it can help treatment.
High levels of zinc found in Sichuan peppers mean that this potent spice is important for the strength of the immune system. Many people overlook zinc and ignore its effects in boosting our immune system. There are also few signs of zinc deficiency, so it can easily go unnoticed. It is also packed with antioxidants and other chemicals that have anti-fungal and antiviral qualities, quite impressive for a little pepper.
Aid in Appetite
If you are recovering from an injury or illness, it can often be difficult to get your appetite back. However, when your body is healing and repairing, that is when you need nutrients the most. Various compounds within Sichuan pepper will stimulate the appetite and improve the speed of the metabolism, meaning that you will derive energy and nutrients from the food you eat even faster.
Strengthen the Bones
There are quite a few important minerals found in trace amounts within Sichuan pepper, including phosphorus, manganese, copper, and iron, all of which are necessary to build strong bones and prevent age-related conditions like osteoporosis. Our body’s bone mineral density decreases as we age, so it is important to supplement our mineral intake whenever possible; Sichuan peppers are very helpful in that department.
The various antioxidants and organic acids in Sichuan pepper, including phytosterols and terpenes, have certain anti-inflammatory effects throughout the body. Inflammation results from oxidative stress, which in turn is caused by free radical activity in the body. The compounds found in Sichuan pepper can neutralize these free radicals and stop inflammation at the root. It is also an effective remedy for existing inflammation issues, such as arthritis and gout.
Protect the Stomach
When it comes to digestive health, Sichuan peppers can stimulate the process and speed it up, while reducing inflammation in the gut and stimulating the metabolism. The various compounds in Sichuan pepper can prevent cramping, bloating, and constipation, which can prevent more serious conditions, such as gastric ulcers.
Lower Blood Pressure
The significant levels of potassium found in Sichuan pepper make this spice an excellent booster for cardiovascular health. Potassium functions as a vasodilator, causing blood vessels and arteries to relax, preventing high blood pressure and lowering the potential effect of blood clots of cholesterol. By lowering blood pressure, Sichuan pepper is able to protect against atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
There are a number of antioxidants and vitamins found in Sichuan pepper that can improve human health, and when it comes to our vision, few things are as powerful as beta-carotene. This powerful antioxidant can reduce oxidative stress in the ocular system and keep the retina healthy, while also reducing your risk of macular degeneration and vision loss.