The aromatic and spicy Sichuan pepper is also known as the Szechwan pepper or Szechuan pepper. A popular spice commonly used in Asian cooking, it is not a pepper or peppercorn despite its name. The peppercorn is the outer coat of the (citrus) prickly-ash tree berry. When used in cooking, it imparts a slight aromatic, spicy numbing flavor.
Recipe: Kung Pao Chicken Recipe
This popular Kung Pao Chicken recipe is a re-creation of a popular Chinese food dish commonly ordered at restaurants. Made with a savory spicy sauce, this recipe uses Chinese Sichuan pepper corns and dried red chili peppers.
- 1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breasts or thighs, cut into ½ - ¾ -inch cubes
- Marinade *See recipe below.
- 1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
- 8 Chinese dried red chilies, split length wise and seeds removed
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- Sauce *See recipe below.
- 3 scallions, white parts thinly sliced, green parts set aside cut into 1 inch strips
- 1/3 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper corns
- 1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chicken stock/broth
- 3 teaspoons sugar (for less sweet, reduce the sugar by 1-2 teaspoons depending on your preference)
- 3 teaspoons soy sauce (depending on how salty the soy sauce and broth are, you can reduce the soy sauce amount by a teaspoon or two or add more if needed, no more than 2 teaspoons)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
*Instructions: Whisk the ingredients together until the corn starch is dissolved.
*Instructions: Whisk the ingredients until the corn starch is dissolved.
- Massage the chicken with the marinade in a small bowl for half a minute. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 20 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a wok on high heat. Once the wok starts smoking, turn the stove top off. Add the red peppers and peppercorns to the pan quickly stirring for 1 minute being careful to not burn the dried chilies.
- Add the chicken to the pan and turn the heat back on to medium high.
- Once the outer later of the chicken is cooked and no longer raw, add the ginger and garlic. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Slowly add the sauce a tablespoon at a time, making sure the chicken is absorbing all the flavors between additions.
- Once the chicken is done cooking, add the green parts of the scallions and peanuts. Cook for a minute or two longer.
- Serve immediately.