Sichuan Pepper

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Sichuan pepper Zanthoxylum simulans, is a pepper which, as the name indicates, belongs to the province of Sichuan in China and does much to give the cuisine of Sichuan its special character. The small fruits of the plant are dried to become reddish-brown ‘peppercorns’, and are subsequently sold either whole, or whole but seeded (best), or as a powder for use as a spice. It is one of the ingredients of the Chinese spice mixture five spices.

Sichuan pepper has a pleasing aroma and a numbing rather than burning effect on the mouth.