^Prawns with Szechuan Peppercorns.
In this recipe, the chef uses Sichuan peppercorns to add a unique flavor to prawns. The prawns are stir fried with ginger, chili and garlic, and then sprinkled with Szechuan peppercorns just before serving.
Slicing the ginger into thin strips allows for better flavor absorption in the prawns. They are stirred-fried over medium heat until fragrant and softened, but still crisp. Minton suggests using extra-large shrimp with the shells on for this recipe. The shells help to make the sauce more flavorful and give an added texture to the dish.
Minton recommends using fresh prawns that have been thawed or cooked just before eating because frozen prawns tend to be mushy when cooked.
Serve these prawns over steamed rice or noodles for a delicious meal.*^
I always love hearing about new and fun ways to cook prawns. I love Szechuan peppercorns, and I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with them as well. I have to say that this recipe by Jamie Oliver is one of my favorite ways to utilize them!
I also love the look of this dish, as well as the presentation. It looks like it would be a great dish for a dinner party, or just for some fun family cooking night. Since this is considered a type of Chinese recipe, I’m going to try it out on my husband and see what he thinks!
If you’re interested in trying out this recipe, you can find it here: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fish-recipes/szechuan-peppercorns/
The trick is to use Szechuan peppercorns, which are not black pepper. Szechuan peppercorns look like tiny brown-red berries. They have a much more assertive flavour, and you need only a pinch to get that amazing numbing effect. If you can’t find them, substitute black pepper; it’s still a great dish.
I almost always make this with fresh prawns: it’s just so good with them. But you can certainly make it with frozen prawns and it will be fine, though the texture won’t be quite as nice.
Szechuan peppercorns are a spice native to China having a spicy, citrusy aroma. An essential ingredient in Sichuan cuisine, they’re often used to add heat and tingle to hot and sour soup, mapo tofu, tea-smoked duck and dishes such as Kung Pao chicken.
Szechuan peppercorns are sold in both powder and whole form. When buying whole peppercorns, make sure the shell is bright red as this indicates the peppercorn is fresh. Avoid any that look black or have a cracked shell. If using powdered pepper corns, purchase ones that are bright red or a slightly tan color as these are fresher than those which are brownish or grayish in color.
To use Szechuan peppercorns, you can either dry roast them first before adding them to your dish or you can give your food a quick stir fry with them directly. The former method will allow the peppercorns to release their flavors while the latter method allows the spices to release their aromas.
Sichuan peppercorns are an unusual spice, also known as Szechwan pepper (though they don’t grow in Szechuan province). They have a unique flavour and smell, a little like black pepper but with a hint of citrus.
They are not that well-known outside of China, though they are increasingly available. You can buy them whole or ground; I usually buy them whole. If you cannot get hold of them, you can leave them out.
If you like eating spicy food (and many people don’t), you may want to add some chilli flakes to the dish. The pickled chillies don’t add much heat, just a very authentic sichuan flavour.
Sichuan peppercorns are the berries of a native variety of citrus tree (Citrus reticulata), grown primarily in Sichuan, China.
They are an essential ingredient in Chinese cooking, and have become increasingly popular as a flavour enhancer in food from many other regions.
Szechuan pepper is a spice which contain volatile oils, most notably the chemical compound known as camphor or C10H16O. The flavour of the oil is fresh and bright with a tingling, numbing “spicy” effect that is not for the fainthearted! The oil can be extracted by steam distillation or expression.
Taste: very pungent, slightly bitter and acrid.*
The peppercorns are the dried berries of the pepper plant, a woody perennial native to Sichuan in China. They are shiny, dark brown and a little wrinkly, like prunes.
They have a unique taste and aroma, described as “fragrant and spicy”. The taste is not quite like peppercorn, nor is it exactly like black or white pepper. You can’t substitute one for another in recipes.
The name Sichuan peppercorn is misleading; it’s not from Sichuan province, but from Si Chuan which means 4 provinces in Chinese (Sichuan, Hunan, Guizhou and Yunnan). And there are other kinds of pepper berries called Sichuan pepper too.
The plant grows as a bush up to about 3 feet tall. The berries are harvested when ripe and dried in the sun for about two weeks. Then they are ready to be used as a spice or medicine. These days they are often used whole as a decoration rather than being eaten since the heat is so strong that they have become too expensive for regular use by the average person.
In olden times they were used as an analgesic and to treat rheumatism. Nowadays they are popular with chefs because