The pepper grows on an aromatic shrub in the citrus family, the pepper itself is not actually a pepper at all, but instead is the outer pod of the fruit from Zanthoxylum bungeanum. It is native to China and now naturalized into Japan, the Himalayas and North America, and these are a staple in cuisine from the Chinese province, Szechuan. It has a tarty, lemony, acrid flavor, and it is also woodsy and slightly peppery, with a complex progression of flavors.
Have a taste of the Chinese cuisine with this Huo Jiao Ji - Sichuan Peppercorns Chicken recipe.
- 1 large chicken
- 3 large Chinese black cardamom pods whole
- 3 White cardamom pods, whole
- 3 large star anise whole
- 2 tsp red Sichuan peppercorns whole
- 5 dried red chilies, chopped into large pieces
- 3 large shallots, chopped into large pieces
- 1 large head of garlic, broken into whole cloves
- 2 medium sized whole ginger roots, smashed
- 1/2 can of beer (optional)
- Heat your wok and pour 1/2 cup of oil.
- When the oil is hot but not burning, put the star anise, red chilies, black cardamom and white cardamom and stir for 45 seconds to 1 minutes, you can add the Sichuan peppercorns at this point if you do not have the leaves.
- Add the chicken and stir fry stirring almost constantly for 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and shallots, stir fry for 2 minutes.
- Add the ginger, stir fry for another 2 minutes.
- Lower the temperature under your wok, allowing the contents to gently simmer for 20 minutes.
- Cover for the last 3 minutes of cooking time, and at this point, you may add the 1/2 can of beer which is optional, but it may dry out the chicken a bit.