The Magic of Szechuan Pepper & Salt

July 23, 2007

I’m having a reaction to Szechuan Pepper & Salt, and I’m not talking about allergies. My entire head is swooning in a numb, firey nirvana.

It’s rare that I eat something that makes my eyes roll back in my head – that forces me to stop and eat my meal in slow motion.

I’ll post later in the week about the two dishes we made tonight, but for now, let’s focus on the fairy dust.

The guy at Whole Foods mentioned something about a numbing sensation caused by SPS, but apparently I wasn’t really listening.

I blogged previously about our hunt for Szechuan Peppercorns, and today we found them at Williams-Sonoma – ok, so not an authentic Asian experience, but a yuppy’s got to do what a yuppy’s got to do.

I get them home and can’t wait to open the jar and stick my nose right in.

POW! Be careful. These are pungent little demons. They may look pink and angelic, but they’re spoiling for a fight.

To make Szechuan Pepper and Salt:

In a dry pan, put 1 part Szechuan Peppercorns to 2 parts coarse sea salt. Roast over high heat. Your kitchen will be engulfed in an alien aroma. Weirdly, it smelled to me like a Christmas tree.

The peppercorns will begin to pop, you’ll see a little smoke and at this point your instincts will tell you to take it off the heat.

I immediately pour it into my mortar and pestle and let it cool.

The only thing left to do it pulverize the mixture until it looks like the surface of the moon.

Wait until you see what we sprinkle this stuff on…that post is coming soon!

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2 Responses to “The Magic of Szechuan Pepper & Salt”

  1. Jessica from Buffalo Says:

    The anticipation is killing me!


  2. […] Boil the wontons just until the shrimp inside are cooked. Top with the chili oil (below) and Szechuan Pepper and Salt. […]


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