I feel like these are undervalued, and haven't really been used outside their culinary origins
I use them mainly in asian food, but also as a steak marinade and an addition to duck
my gut says they should be made into a paste and used to impart a very strong flavour to a garnish ingredient
not even a little bit like pepper, they are a spice that really stands alone
the stand out characteristic is that they kind of numb your whole mouth andmake your tonge numb
for that reason they don't sit well with many things, mainly paired with hot hot chilli to make sichan food that is close to poison
Have them with steak, use them in Mexican cooking, put them in stews.
There's also a Greenspan/Herme recipe for sichuan peppercorn truffles. I didn't like them that much though, I felt they took away from the richness of the chocolate.
They're not chilli hot, they're more of a numbing-tingling sensation. When combined with chilli hot, they're quite addicitve. They also add a cooling sensation. I personally think they taste quite citrusy so it's like combining coriander with spicy foods.
I tried cooking with these once and thought they tasted like poison. I'm by no means a fussy eater but both my gf were repulsed by the flavor in the same way I hear some people have an aversion to cilantro. I'm just wondering if we're alone on this or if perhaps there was something wrong with the package I purchased.
I'm afraid I've never heard of this. I used to work in a Chinese restaurant and while some would explicitly mention and avoid cilantro, it no one seemed to be repulsed by or avoid sichuan peppercorns.
If people realized that if you cook them long enough the tingling feeling people either don't like or just aren't expecting goes away they could be used more commonly. i like using them in stirfries and asian grocery stores sell peanuts mixed with those and chili pepper slices that are amazing.
first time i had them, i was extremely confused since everything i ate afterwards tasted metalli
I fry them in oil for the flavor and tingling feeling to permeate the whole dish. I don't think cooking them longer would degrade their properties that much because using the strained oil afterwards still packs plenty of numbing feeling since i heat up the oil extremely hot for stir frying. For less of the properties, I found old, brown red ones gave less of an effect which is usually considered bad. Fresh green ones are the strongest.
I really don't use them in anything but Szechuan food since the flavor is so distinctive; it tends to overwhelm anything that's not already very spicy and full of sour/savory flavor. On the other hand they are absolutely essential to Szechuan food and elevate it to god-tier cuisine. You really can't replace it. My favorite is mapo tofu (I use this recipe: http://www.thepauperedchef.com/2010/06/how-to-fall-in-love-with-sichuan-food-mapo-doufu.html), but they're also really good in dry-friend chicken and dandan noodles.
i got mine off amazon too but they were very fresh and smelled floral/tea when they arrived. it was also purely just the pepper and absolutely no seeds which are hard and gritty and give no flavor. i got them from this seller.
As a side note the other ones i ordered off amazon that were very bad/old/brown and had tons of twigs and seeds was from Ajika.