Gansu ”Da Hong Pao” Sichuan Peppar
Gansu ”Da Hong Pao” Sichuan Peppar
- In Depth
Name: Sichuan pepper, Sichuanpeppar, Hua Jiao, Xanthoxylum piperitum
Origin: Wudu, Gansu, China
Character: Warm, earthy, woody, lavendel citrus that runs through your mouth, vibrating your receptors, binding together flavors in one great symphony.
Pair with: Sesame, kummin, star anise, cardamom, orange, salvia, paprika, smoked flavors, rice vinegar, Chinkiang Vinegar, chili, beans, pork, Korean chili, heaven facing chili, tofu, chili oil, dough, oil, beans, noodle soups, peanuts, fish, Gulasch, green beans, fermented soya beans, bamboo shoots, cabbage, brown sugar, lime, beef, mayo, lamb, lotus root, crayfish, garlic, spring onion, lettuce, black current.
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Sichuanese food is out of this world. We think it is one of the most delicious and interesting cuisines on the globe. How can there be such an unbelievable complexity and depth of flavor. Flowery, salty, sweet, spicy, sour, umami, bitterness. Fermentations, pickles. Dried, fresh. Steamed, stir fried, dry fried, grilled, water soaked, dry braised, sauteed.
Legends talk of over 6000 traditional dishes created from 23 fixed flavors and 58 different cooking methods. And at the core of it all, Ma La, the link up of hot and numbing, when chili marries Sichuan Pepper. When cooking with Sichuan Pepper it is about finding a symphony between all these flavors and cooking methods. Understand how they enhance each other. No other flavor should be at the expense of the other.
The Sichuan peppers in your package are very potent, flowery taste bombs. They are considered some of the best in the world for a reason. It does takes some error and trial to get to know them, slowly discovering what harmony can arise with other tastes, but it is definitely worth the challenge as it will open a door to a whole new way of cooking. Roasting and toasting your pepper is a good idea before applying it to your dish.
Youtube have a lot of wonderful Sichuan recipes so go for a explore. If you have the opportunity another great way to make this food taste better is to go out and explore your local Chinese and asian food marts. They have a bunch of great products that will elevate dishes. Fermented black bean paste, Shaoxing wine, chili oil, Heaven facing chili, Chinkiang vinegar, Korean red chili, light soy, rice vinegar. There are a bunch of great complementaries.
From the Gobi desert to rolling green hills of Mongolia the landlocked province of Gansu was once an important strategic outpost that linked the Chinese empire with northern Silk Road. Recently the southern part of Gansu that borders to Sichuan has started cultivating an incredible sichuanpeppar known as ”Da Hong Pao” directly translated ”Big Red Robe”.
From the region of Wudu we source this large, bright red flower pepper that is growing in popularity around China with its warm, earthy, lavender flavor that is perfect in the more hearty Sichuan dishes like Mapo Dofu or twice cooked pork.
Like all our spices they are hand-picked, dried and sorted by farmers for quality. After this our partner puts them through his own constructed sorting machine (5 different metrics like color, density etc) before a league of hand sorters does the final sorting and checking ensuring absolute quality with no seed and sticks.
Sichuan pepper refers to a spice obtained from a group of closely related plants of genus Zanthoxylum, a distant relative to citrus family. Varieties of Sichuan Pepper is found all over Asia and has been used by highland people in China, Nepal, Japan, Korea, India, Laos and Taiwan for centuries due to the plants ability to survive harsh cold weather.
Unlike chili which has a burning sensation when eaten flower pepper evokes a numbing sensation, an electric feeling. This is due to a molecule found in the plant activating receptors that send stimuli to your brain telling it that you are experiencing vibration.