Premium green Sichuan pepper (formerly Szechuan 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 has a distinctly different taste than the red species 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. It is frequently used in hot pot and noodle dishes.
Some of the best green hua jiao is from southern Sichuan along the border with Yunnan Province. This single-origin pepper is grown in the county of Jinyang in the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan. It is from the 2018 harvest.
As a premium product, it is sorted to include mostly opened seed pods and few stems and seeds, which appear in abundance in lower-quality Sichuan pepper. Though green peppercorns tend to retain more seeds than red, our intensely green spring shipment is particularly clean. These Sichuan peppercorns go direct from farmers to our supplier for processing, and meet strict U.S. safety standards. We at The Mala Market hand-pack 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.
From "Front Burner" in The New York Times:
The Mala Market carries a dozen essential spices for the fiery cuisine, including fragrant green Sichuan peppercorns. The [Sichuan peppercorns] sold by The Mala Market, a new company in Nashville, are high-quality. Taylor Holliday, the owner, imports the spices directly from the source, so they are fresher than most. She also sells fragrant green Sichuan peppercorns, which deliver a shade less heat but more all-around flavor. —Florence Fabricant