Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Szechuan Peppercorns by CC-Store. They are available in different size packages and scaling up here saves a lot of money. Your options are
While you may be tempted to get the bigger package and save the money, I’d say don’t do so until you know you like the experience of eating food cooked with them. Note I said experience vs. flavor because it is more than just flavor. That said up front these things are not super hot, they won’t make you run for gallons of water. They do have a sort of mild heat but they also have and I kid you not a numbing effect and a sweetness too.
We are not talking a Novocaine shot numb but the experience is mildly similar. They also give a tingly effect to the tongue and the inside of your mouth. The flavor is really unlike anything else in the world. This is what you make real Szechuan beef or chicken with. 99% of the time when you order that in a restaurant in the US it isn’t what you get.
These “peppercorns” are also not a pepper, they actually grow on a tree. You can even buy one and grow it in a lot of the US, but if you do make sure you get a male and a female. Only the female will produce peppercorns, no matter how much it offends “woke” SJWs. You can get trees from One Green World, here are the female and the male tree options.
If however like me you don’t want to wait for two trees to grow to enjoy them, CC-Store Peppercorns have the best blend of quality and value I have found. This stuff is expensive, but a little does go a long way as you can see from the two posted recipes. I would bet most folks would only use 2-4 ounces a year. The good news is it stores really well. I buy 12 ounces at a time and store it in small vac sealed jelly jars.
So if you have never had this stuff, the question is will you like it? I can’t know but my guess is unless you are into totally bland food, you will love it. I made the steak skewers (thanks to our Awesome Sponsor Butcher Box) at the Fall Workshop. Like I made 20 freaking pounds of them. They were being grabbed off my Blackstone Griddle as fast as I could cook them.
I didn’t find one person who didn’t freaking love them. I figured it was a bit of a gamble as the taste is so distinctive but everyone loved them, and even Dorothy loves them. I did the same marinade with pork tenderloin last night, we liked it but agreed that with the more delicate pork you can likely cut the pepper corns in half.
The great news is it is easy to expirment with and if you feel you want more just sprinkle some on at the end like you would say black pepper. So give this stuff a try and try out either of the recipes below. There are also a ton of recipes online using it, but I think you will find the two below to be 100% Spirko originals. The steak rub is really simple to make up and blows people away when you use it on a sous vide steak. There is so much going on that the senses are both delighted and confused.
The skewer marinade is far more complex, it requires more ingredients and procedure but it is something that just triggers a feeding response in folks. You will find friends asking you to make it all the time once they try it.
Final thought, the peppercorns are whole, they need some grinding when you get ready to use them. Best tool for that is as always the Mr. Coffee Grinder I use for everything from dried pepper powders, to herbs and spices and of course coffee.
Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com
Jack’s Szechuan Peppercorn, Chocolate, Coffee Steak Rub
- 1 TBS Kosher Salt
- 1 TBS Brown Sugar – (or Brown Lakonto for Keto)
- 1 TBS Szechuan Peppercorn ground
- 1 TBS Garlic Powder
- 1 TBS Fresh Ground Coffee – (Holler Roast, Food Forest Farms and Mai Thai are all great options with MSB discounts)
- 1 TBS 100% Coco Powder – (I use Ghirardelli just make sure it is 100% coco)
- 1 TSP True Cinnamon – (I buy this brand by the pound)
- 1 TSP Ground Ginger – (I buy this brand by the pound)
Just mix it all well and coat any meat but it was really designed for steak like rib eye, sirloin, etc. I use this on sous vide rib eyes and bison steaks and it blows people away. I usually put a bit of it out on the side for sprinkling as well.
Jack’s Szechuan Peppercorn Beef Skewers
- Wet Marinade – Makes enough for 1-2 pounds of meat
- 3 TBS of Beef or Chicken Broth
- 3 TBS of Soy Sauce
- 3 TBS of Saki – (best cooking brand I have found is Michiu)
- 1 TBS of Mirin – (if you are gonna use cheap mirn just use 4 TBS of Sake, for good mirin use this)
- 1/2 tsp of Fish Sauce – (Red Boat is best, by a long shot)
- 1 TBS of Brown Sugar – (or Brown Lakonto for Keto)
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger – (I buy this brand by the pound)
- 1 TBS ground Szechuan peppercorns
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- Dry Rub – Makes more than you need for 2-3 batches
- 1 TBS of ground Szechuan pepper corns
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp dehydrated onion – (grind but don’t fully powder it)
- 1 tsp dehydrated garlic – (grind but don’t fully powder it)
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger – (I buy this brand by the pound)
- 1/2 tsp true cinnamon – (I buy this brand by the pound)
- 1 tsp ground coffee – (Holler Roast, Food Forest Farms and Mai Thai are all great options with MSB discounts)
- 1 tsp of salt
- 2 tsp of brown sugar – (or Brown Lakonto for Keto)
Cut your steak into bite sized pieces (Butcher Box Steak Tips are great for this and mostly all are already the right size). Put them in a zip top bag and pour over the marinade and mix well. Seal bag and put in the fridge, mix it a few times. Marinade at least 2 hours, 24 hours is best. This makes the meat amazingly tender.
Remove from marinade and skewer onto bamboo skewers. I soak mine in a water bottle the day before I use them. Set them on a drying rack and let them sit at room temp for about 30 minutes, they will get tacky, now sprinkle with the dry rub and grill or cook however you want. The Blackstone Gridldle does wonderful things with these, awesome sear. Serve with more dry rub and a bit of pure peppercorns ground on the side so people can adjust for themselves.
- Side Note – I did pork tenderloin as I said last night with this. Difference was we did the wet part only, I drained it in a colander and cooked more of a stir fry style in a pan. The pepper corns were way upfront, I think this was due to two reasons. One the pork is a more delicate cut of meat. More though since it was pan cooked the marinade cooked in more than say grilled as a skewer. Dorothy and I both still found it delicious, the peppercorns are something I am addicted to but she felt it was a little too strong, so if making this for a stir fry cut the pepper corns in the wet marinade back to say 1/2 a tablespoon, you can always add more.
- Final Thought – Guys and gals, if you try these two recipes you will realize that I have actually given some pretty amazing Spirko Trade Secrets away here. These two recipes represent a TON of work and testing. I don’t think you will find anything quite like them so cook them for friends and family and blow them away. Then you decide if you want to tell them how it is done, or keep this now open secret to yourself!