Premium green Sichuan pepper should have a strong citrusy, vegetal fragrance and taste as well as an intense numbing quality. Ours is particularly potent, as it has not undergone the once-required heat-treatment process that for so long robbed Sichuan pepper of some of its punch. We believe we are the first to (legally) bring in untreated peppercorns, since Chinese suppliers uniformly heat-treat for the U.S. market.
A member of the citrus family, the Zanthoxylum genus includes numerous edible species of both red and green Sichuan pepper. Green Sichuan pepper, which is sometimes called vine pepper or rattan pepper, has a distinctly different taste than red and has become very popular in Sichuan over the past couple decades, as its fresh, vegetal taste is a great match for fish, chicken and vegetables.
Grown at a lower altitude and in a warmer climate than red Sichuan pepper species, some of the best green hua jiao is from southern Sichuan along the border with Yunnan Province. This is grown in the county of Jinyang in the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan.
This green Sichuan pepper is very citrusy on both the nose and tongue. As a premium product, it is not only hand-harvested but hand-sorted so as to include mostly opened seed pods and very few stems and seeds, which appear in abundance in lower-quality Sichuan pepper. (Having said that, humans will be human, and some do slip through.) These Sichuan peppercorns go direct from farmer to our supplier in Chengdu for processing and meet strict U.S. safety standards. We at The Mala Market hand-package them weekly.
Go here for more information on Sichuan pepper or details on how to roast and grind the peppercorns to use as a powder. You'll also find recipes for Sichuan dishes that feature green hua jiao.
To learn more about the history of Sichuan pepper in the U.S. and current sourcing in China, read this article we reported for Roads & Kingdoms.
Source: Grown in Jinyang County, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province
Size: 2 ounces (57 grams); 1 cup by volume
Ingredients: Sichuan pepper only. No additives or preservatives. Non-irradiated and non heat-treated.