The Sichuan pepper. For those of you who don’t know or haven’t had one before, these peppers are numbing peppers. Not only that but they aren’t peppers, they are the shells of a little berry. Regardless, they are very common in cooking from the Chinese region of Sichuan. I’ve ordered “Sichuan” dishes from some Chinese restaurants that aren’t usually too authentic. I’ve also went to restaurants that use these peppers as well as make dishes that are things you might find in Chinese family’s home. There is always room for both types.
A friend of mine, and author of My Bejing Life, has been living in Bejing and recently visited the US. He asked if I wanted a bag of these numbing little suckers and I of course accepted. Just yesterday I received the peppers and tonight I took them for a test drive. I didn’t really make a very Chinese dish, but it was still tasty and was something I knew how to do. I crusted a pork chop in sichuan peppers and pink pepper corns. I seared the chop and then finished it in the oven. I also made some Asian kale with onions and orange pepper.
You can definitely find these peppers without going to China, either on the internet or a specialty spice store.
(Recipe for one pork Chop, easily increased)
1 bone in pork chop
1/2 teaspoon sichuan peppers
1/4 teaspoon pink pepper corns
1 tablespoon cooking oil
pinch sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 400.
In a spice grinder or motar and pestle crush both peppers into a nice powder. Wash off pork chop and pat dry sprinkle each side of chop and set aside.
Add oil to a cast iron skillet or oven safe pan. Heat over medium-high heat. Add chop when oil it hot and sear one side for about 4 minutes. Flip chop and place in oven for another 4-5 minutes or until cooked through.
Remove from pan and set aside. Let rest about 5 minutes while plating rice and kale, or other vegetables. Enjoy!!