Orange Sichuan Pepper Salt

Once you start sprinkling this salt on food just before serving, you will become addicted to flavored salts and figure out endless variations by yourself. Any of the citrus family will work, although I have my doubts about grapefruit salt unless you use it on fruits, especially tropical ones or watermelon.

Flavored salts will last for a month in a covered jar without losing too much potency. Proportions are not written in stone, but think two-thirds pepper to one-third citrus peel. By all means add a little bit of cumin, cardamom, or fenugreek.

Ingredients

  • 1 large orange (mandarin, blood, or regular)
  • ½ cup Sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 cups kosher salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Remove the zest from the orange with a vegetable peeler, in strips, being sure not to include the white pith. Lay the zest in a single layer on a plate and place it in the oven until dry, about an hour. The peel must be completely dry. Remove the plate from the oven and let the dried zest cool.

Toast the peppercorns in a hot but not scorching frying pan until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Dump them out immediately onto paper towels and allow them to cool.

Mix the rind, peppercorns, and salt together. Grind in a spice mill or food processor with a very sharp blade until uniformly smooth.

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