Heat a wok or heavy frying pan to a medium heat. Add the peppercorns (you can cook up to about 100g (4 oz) at a time) and stir-fry them for about 5 minutes until they brown slightly and start to smoke. Remove the pan from the heat and let the peppercorns cool. Grind them in a peppermill or in a clean coffee grinder, or use a mortar and pestle. Sift the ground peppercorn through a fine mesh and discard any of the hard hulls. Seal the mixture tightly in a screw-top jar to store. Alternatively keep the whole roasted peppercorns in a well-sealed container and grind them when required.
© 2001 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.