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FOOD&SPICES

Green Szechuan pepper Qīng huā jiāo

Green Szechuan pepper Qīng huā jiāo

Normal price €5,40 EUR
Normal price Offer price €5,40 EUR
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This green huā jiāo. Qīng huā jiāo in full, is a special Szechuan pepper. It is characterized by a fresh lemon aroma, which combines well with fish, chicken and vegetables. It is mainly used in hot pot and noodle dishes.

This Szechuan pepper is the dried, unripe berry of the Zanthoxylum bungeanum, one of the many species of toothache tree, called prickley ash because of the huge spines on the trunk and branches. The pepper is called Szechuan pepper after the region where it naturally grows, Szechuan, home to one of the ten classic Chinese cuisines. The berry is larger than that of the Zanthoxylum piperatum.

The Zanthoxylum is a plant that can grow into a large tree whose bark is covered with coarse, sometimes lignified spines. The bark therefore appears to be covered with a row of 'molars', hence perhaps the Dutch name toothache tree. In traditional Chinese medicine, the peppers and the root - not surprising given the appearance of the tree - are used to treat toothache.

The green berry is picked early in the autumn, well before the berries burst open and the rather bitter seeds are released. The berries are traditionally dried in the sun. The better quality Szechuan pepper - like this one - contains little or no seeds and little or no stems, and is conditioned with air dried (AD).

There is a clear taste difference between the smaller berries of the Zanthoxylum bungeanum and the Zanthoxylum piperitum, which makes the former very popular with Asian chefs. On the Chinese consumer market, but also in other Asian countries (and Europe), the small and often darker berry is the most popular, partly because of the lower price. The 'old guard' in China also sticks to the taste of this widely available Szechuan pepper, with a preference for the unripe, green.

The unique sharpness of sanshol

Characteristic of all Zanthoxylum peppers, and therefore also of this Szechuan pepper, is the tingling you experience on the tip of your tongue due to a substance in the pepper called sanshool, named after the Japanese sanshō. The sharpness is caused by the amides in the skin of the fruit: α-, β-, γ- and δ-sanshool, α hidroxy sanshool and β-hidroxy sanshool. γ sanshool and α hidroxy sanshool are mainly responsible for the narcotic effect. The amount of α-hidroxy-sanshool in the berries can amount to (more than) 50 ‰ of the dry weight, of γ sanshool around 5 ‰.

Szechuan is known as the sharpest Zanthoxylum pepper. In addition, the Indonesian andaliman - a fairly rare variety - is conveniently forgotten, because this 'Batak pepper' is also quite sharp. By the way, ripened berries are sharper than the unripe ones.

The tingling is accompanied by a slight numbness, jokingly compared to tasting a 9-volt battery. A single berry is enough to experience that! This somatosensation, stimulation by touch, has been used for centuries as an anesthetic in traditional medicine in Asia. Its operation is very complex and the subject of extensive studies. Hydroxy-α-sanshol in particular is said to cause the tingling, and there are certain parallels with the sharpness experience of capsaicin, the pungent substance in chili pepper, but also with menthol and mustard oil.

Fragrance and taste

The Szechuan berry contains 83 volatile oils, of which the taste is decisive:

  • linalyl acetate, responsible for a pleasant citrus, bergamot and lavender scent,
  • limonene, the scent of lemon peel,
  • linalol, responsible for the scents of rosewood and lavender
  • geraniol, rose fragrance,
  • geranyl acetate, lavender fragrance.
  • β-pinene, pine resin, and
  • 1.8 cineole or eucalyptol, camphorous

A ripe berry contains considerably more linalol, geraniol and geranyl acetate - the rose components - than a green berry

Combinations

Szechuan pepper combines excellently with citrus (kafir leaf), sereh, coconut, coriander leaf, curry leaf, exotic fruit, poultry, shellfish and shellfish.

Use

Szechuan pepper takes a prominent place in classic and modern Szechuan cuisine. It is used in almost every dish, whole or crushed, roasted and/or ground. In Szechuan cuisine it is very common to roast the Szechuan pepper before grinding it. The roasting is meant to 'play' with the aromas. There is something curious about Szechuan pepper. The cooking temperature determines the taste palette of Szechuan pepper. To enhance the aromas of 1,8-cineol (mint and sweet), linalool (flower and lavender), 2-phenylethanol (honey, spice, rose, and lilac), 4-methylacetophenone (bitter almond), and transcarveol (cara way) to emerge, a temperature above 70 degrees is required. At low temperatures (below 40 degrees) aromas such as myrcene (balsamic), limonene (lemony), and hexanal (grassy) will predominate. Same spice, different taste effect.

Szechuan pepper is one of the ingredients of five-spice powder (wǔxiāng fěn).

For those who are not familiar with Szechuan pepper, it is advisable to start with caution , and not to eat the pepper raw, unlike the Nepalese timur and the Laotian Ma khaen for example, which can be eaten raw.

Characteristics:

  • 100% berries of the Zanthoxylum bungeanum
  • origin: Hunan

Assortment

  • available in glass, pouch and test tube
  • glass jar contains 30 grams
  • stand-up pouches with a content of up to 30 to 300 grams
  • available in 10 ml test tube
  • larger quantities on request

Gift Wrap

  • the jar is available in a tasteful gift box, consisting of a cube box filled with black tissue paper
  • for an overview of our gift packaging, please refer to the category gift packaging

General advice

  • qīng huā jiāo is the Szechuan pepper par excellence in stir-fries and hot pots
  • use this szechuan pepper sparingly, and choose to use the berries whole or ground
  • allow the berry to absorb moisture well, so that the taste and sharpness are optimally utilized, and play with heat (see above)

Save:

  • keep your kampot pepper in closed packaging
  • preferably store in a dark, dry and cool place
  • best before January 2025 (01/25)
  • this expiration date is an indication

Would you like to know how this Phú Quốc tastes?

Could you also try a test tube. The tube contains enough pepper to fathom the flavor essence.

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