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Can anyone identify these sichuan peppercorn-like objects?

As I write this, my mouth is singing. I made a few dishes using the new green prickly ash that my colleague brought from China, and the red ones that I brought back myself. I can safely say this had nothing to do with whether the prickly ash is green or red. Both varieties that I got from china a both quite powerful, and the green maybe a bit more than the red. The crap I got from Penzey's spices was the problem.. Stupid me for continuing to use it even after I brought back the red ones from China - I should have just popped one in my mouth and it would have been immediately apparent. Thanks for bearing with me.

Oct 16, 2012
sternbean in General Topics

Can anyone identify these sichuan peppercorn-like objects?

I have an update on this... My colleague in China says that there are two distinct kinds of prickly ash, the red kind and the green kind. One does not turn into the other. The green kind is known for producing more of a numbing than the red. This must have been what I had. He also says that the green does darken with age, but does not turn red.

I attached a photo of the green. I'm guessing that I had an aged version of the green since it was darker.

He is bringing me 1/2 kilo in a few weeks. I'll report back on the numbness comparison between the two.

Sep 21, 2012
sternbean in General Topics

Can anyone identify these sichuan peppercorn-like objects?

The colors were distinctly different, and they were *extremely* numbing. Not like I've ever had before, no matter how much of the red stuff I've used. My mouth was singing.

Sep 05, 2012
sternbean in General Topics

Can anyone identify these sichuan peppercorn-like objects?

This is exactly what I was able to get.... Not what I'm looking for though (see original picture).

Sep 05, 2012
sternbean in General Topics

Can anyone identify these sichuan peppercorn-like objects?

Penzey's spices sells them (at a premium)

Sep 05, 2012
sternbean in General Topics

Can anyone identify these sichuan peppercorn-like objects?

I'd really like to see pictures of the sichuan pepper that you guys are getting. I'll post a pic of mine sometime soon.

Sep 05, 2012
sternbean in General Topics

Can anyone identify these sichuan peppercorn-like objects?

Roasting doesn't change the color from mostly red, to light dots on a darker pod... They just look basically different. These are also a little larger than what I'm used to... 3mm vs 2mm.

Sep 04, 2012
sternbean in General Topics

Can anyone identify these sichuan peppercorn-like objects?

I've had green ones that were (I think) fresh or less ripe versions of the red sichuan pepper that I usually get. They didn't look like these, but were mostly smooth in appearance. These seem to be some other variety.

Sep 04, 2012
sternbean in General Topics

Can anyone identify these sichuan peppercorn-like objects?

I had these in a spicy squid dish at a sichuan restaurant in 798 in Beijing. They behaved just like sichuan peppercorns... In fact like sichuan peppercorns on steroids. But I've never seen sichuan peppercorns that look like this. Does anyone know exactly what they are, and where I can get some (either in Beijing, or mail-order)?

Sep 03, 2012
sternbean in General Topics

Hand Hammered Woks Comparison: Williams Sonoma and Wokshop.

I've been using the new wok since February, and I really like it. It holds a season really well, and cleans up easily. If there's one thing I don't like about it, toward the end of cooking a four or five course meal, the handle gets extremely hot. I've been half-heartedly looking around for some kind of silicone cover that would fit the handle. I've also considered making something out of wood that could be inserted into the handle, but that would probably require drilling some holes to secure it. I'm not sure I want to do that.

Jul 22, 2012
sternbean in Cookware

Hand Hammered Woks Comparison: Williams Sonoma and Wokshop.

I just got a couple of hand-hammered woks from http://e-woks.com/. I got a 14" and a 16", both with a long handle and a single loop. They are really nice woks. I had been using a Taylor and Ng spun wok for the past 20 years or so, and I wasn't pleased with its ability to hold a seasoning, and it had been really hard to clean.

Anyway, I have not used the new woks, but they seasoned up very nicely, and I look forward to trying them out this weekend. I enclosed some photos... Not sure you can tell, but these are definitely hand-hammered.

I just looked at the Williams Sonoma site. I think the woks I got look very much like the Artisan hand-hammered wok, and is priced similarly (except I got the Beijing style with long handle).

Feb 16, 2012
sternbean in Cookware