Summer Special: Big Red Sichuan Pepper + Facing Heaven Chilies

Sichuan cold dishes like these mala cucumbers are perfect summer starters or sides. This Summer Special includes the main ingredients you'll need to make them:

  • 1 2-ounce package Big Red Pao (da hong pao) Sichuan Peppercorns
  • 1 4-ounce package Facing Heaven (chao tian) Chili Peppers

Please see individual product pages for more details on these products, here and here

Qiang Huang Gua
  1. Cut one long, English cucumber in half vertically, scoop out the seeds, and cut into batons about 3 inches long and 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide. Salt generously and leave to drain in a colander for 30 minutes or so.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons oil to a hot wok and immediately add 5 to 6 facing heaven chilies and 1 teaspoon red Sichuan peppercorns.
  3. Stir-fry the spices until they are just starting to darken, then add cucumber and stir-fry briefly so that all cucumbers are exposed to hot oil. Add 1 teaspoon sesame oil, mix well, and plate. Serve at room temperature. 
  • Snip chilies in half and retain seeds for heat, or leave seeds out for a milder dish
  • If using Mala Market Sichuan pepper, 1 teaspoon should be plenty; if using less potent peppercorns, you may need more

Get recipes for three other variations on Sichuan cucumber here