Szechuan peppercorn, also known as Sichuan peppercorn, is a staple ingredient in the famous Szechuan cuisine of China. The spicy, tongue-numbing flavor of the peppercorn has made it a beloved ingredient in SH&W’s Five Spice Garlic Chili Oil Recipe, the perfect base for dishes such as Kung Pao chicken and Mapo tofu, but did you know that this little berry also has a rich history and a host of health benefits?
Szechuan peppercorn has been used for centuries in China, both as a culinary ingredient and for medicinal purposes. The ancient Chinese believed that the peppercorn had the ability to relieve pain and improve digestion. The peppercorn is also thought to have been used as a treatment for colds and flu.
The Szechuan peppercorn is not actually a pepper at all, but a berry from the prickly ash tree. The small red berries are picked when they are ripe and then dried. They have a unique flavor that is both spicy and lemony, with a hint of numbing sensation that is particularly prevalent in Szechuan cuisine.
When it comes to health benefits, Szechuan peppercorn has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties and can help with digestion, It also believed to help in the relief of pain, particularly in the mouth and throat, and can also be used to alleviate toothaches and sore gums. Szechuan peppercorn is also rich in Vitamin C, which is known to boost the immune system and help the body fight off infections.
In recent years, Szechuan peppercorn has gained popularity outside of China, and it can now be found in specialty food stores and online. If you’re looking to add a little kick to your cooking, try using Szechuan peppercorn in your dishes. But, keep in mind that a little goes a long way and it’s not recommended to consume it in large quantity as it can cause burning or tingling sensation in the mouth.
In conclusion, Szechuan peppercorn is a versatile and flavorful ingredient that has been used for centuries in Chinese cuisine and medicine. Its unique spicy and lemony flavor and its numerous health benefits make it a great addition to any dish. Give it a try in our Asian Inspired Glazed Pork Chops Recipe, and taste the history and benefits of Szechuan Peppercorn.
It’s worth noting that Szechuan peppercorn is considered as safe to consume when used in small quantity and culinary purposes, but as always, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional before incorporating it as a medicinal supplement.