Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Welcome to our big Szechuan pepper test 2023. Here we present all the Szechuan peppers we have tested. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best Szechuan pepper for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of if you want to buy Szechuan pepper.




Summary

  • Szechuan pepper comes from a plant that bears the name Zanthoxylum piperitum
  • Szechuan pepper is also known by other names. Chinese pepper, aniseed pepper, Japanese pepper and mountain pepper as examples
  • Szechuan pepper is also used as a natural remedy in Chinese medicine. Among other things, it has an antibacterial effect

The best Szechuan Pepper: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying Szechuan Pepper

What is Szechuan pepper?

Szechuan pepper, which goes by many names, is a plant that looks like a thorny shrub. The plant belongs to the rue family. It can be between 2.5 and 4.5 metres high. The peculiarity of the pepper can already be confirmed by the appearance of its plant.

The scientific name of this pepper is Zanthoxylum piperitum. Zanthoxylum means yellow wood in Greek, where xhantos means yellow and xylon means wood. This name describes the appearance of the plant.

Cooking is more fun with different spices on the shelf. (Source: Monicore / pixabay.com)

Besides Greek, Szechuan pepper is also known by other names. Chinese pepper, aniseed pepper, Japanese pepper and mountain pepper are some of them.

In China, the spice also has different names. Among others, it is called huājiāo, which stands for blossom pepper or flower pepper. However, it is also called Szechuan pepper (chuānjiāo), Chinese pepper (qínjiāo) and mountain pepper (shānjiāo).

Szechuan pepper has many names: Flower pepper, Chinese pepper, Japanese pepper, aniseed pepper and mountain pepper.

But why has the name Szechuan pepper become established? It may be because it is often used in cooking in the Chinese province of Sichuan, where the pepper is also native. Other species of the yellowwood plant are also found in Sichuan.

The spelling of the Chinese province is different and so is the spelling of the pepper. Sichuan, Sechuan or Szetschuan pepper are other possible spellings.

Surprisingly, the Szechuan pepper is not related to the “real” black pepper, but to citrus plants.

Did you know that Szechuan pepper is related to the citrus plant?

Szechuan pepper grows on the Chinese yellowwood tree, which is not related to conventional pepper, but to citrus plants.

What does Szechuan pepper taste like?

The fact that Szechuan pepper is not related to black pepper is also evident in the taste. Although the Szechuan pepper, like the other pepper varieties, also provides the spicy something, the flower pepper also contains a lemony aroma. The pepper provides a numbing sensation on the lips and tongue.

Szechuan pepper is not hot in itself. In Sichuan cuisine, it is often mixed with a spice that gives the dishes their spicy flavour. Since hot paprika is also added to these dishes, Szechuan pepper is mistakenly called hot.

What is Szechuan pepper used for?

The use of aniseed pepper varies. It depends on which part of the yellowwood pepper is taken. Basically, however, the fruit peels are ground for the spice.

In which cuisines is Szechuan pepper used?

Firstly, the pepper is used in the Chinese province of Sechuan. The Sechuan cuisine is even dominated by Szechuan pepper. It is said that no Sechuan food can be prepared without flower pepper. Sichuan cuisine would be endangered without this pepper.

In Sichuan, Szechuan pepper is found in many dishes. (Source: frankzhang0711 / pixabay.com)

Pepper is also used in Japan, but the cuisine there is a little different. There, unripe fruits, leaves and blossoms of the plant are used. Thus, the Chinese pepper becomes a Japanese mountain pepper.

In Korea, Tibet and the Himalayas, pepper is also used in cooking. The diversity of the spice can be seen in the different cuisines.

Did you know that there is also Szechuan tea?

Szechuan leaves can be used to make a wonderful tea that, when used correctly, can also act as a medicinal plant and have a positive effect on digestion.

Can Szechuan pepper be mixed with other spices?

If you love Chinese cuisine and also like to cook, you have certainly heard of the five-spice powder. Szechuan pepper is one of the ingredients of this spice. In English, the spice is known as five-spice.

Anyone who does not want to buy ready-made mixtures can mix their own five-spice spice at home. The ingredients are as follows:

  1. True star anise
  2. Szechuan pepper
  3. Fennel
  4. Cinnamon cassia
  5. Clove

The different spices are ground together. The spice mixture is also good for marinating.

Those who like it simpler and love the combination of salt and pepper need not worry. The Szechuan pepper mixes well with salt.

With a classic pepper mill, the Szechuan pepper can also be used very well for seasoning.

How do you prepare Szechuan pepper?

We have already seen that Szechuan pepper can be ground. It can also be mixed with other spices. But how is Szechuan pepper prepared?

There are many Szechuan pepper recipes on the web. In fact, there are no limits when it comes to seasoning dishes. A Szechuan pepper sauce can also be conjured up wonderfully.

The aromatic leaves of the Sechuan pepper can also be used for cooking. They can either be cooked or steamed in oil.

However, if you are interested in the healing properties of the Chinese pepper, you can also enjoy the mountain pepper as a tea. For Szechuan pepper tea, the Szechuan pepper leaves are steeped in boiling water.

Is Szechuan pepper healthy?

When you think of pepper, you don’t necessarily think of healthy. However, Szechuan pepper has several health benefits to offer. It has also been used in Chinese medicine for years.

The Szechuan pepper also has various healing effects. Among other things, the mountain pepper has antibacterial, appetite stimulating, blood pressure lowering and digestive effects.

What are the ingredients of Szechuan pepper?

From the ingredients of Szechuan pepper, we can guess that it is useful for health. Many ingredients can also be found in mountain pepper. For example, cineole, which is one of the ingredients, is used to fight respiratory diseases such as bronchitis.

Szechuan pepper contains the following substances: terpenes, geraniol, linalool, cineol, citronellal; amides, pungents, flavonoids, bitter substances.

What is the significance of Szechuan pepper in Chinese medicine?

The Chinese have recognised the health benefits of Szechuan pepper for years. In Chinese medicine, it is used for digestive problems, bladder diseases and to fight parasites.

Does Szechuan pepper have advantages over other peppers?

If you can’t tolerate black pepper because it can cause heartburn, you don’t have to worry so much about that with Szechuan pepper. Szechuan pepper does not cause heartburn.

Those who don’t like spicy food can also breathe a sigh of relief, as Szechuan pepper is not spicy in itself. The health benefits mentioned should not be ignored either.

Allergies

The numbing sensation when tasting Szechuan pepper is quite normal. It is not an allergic reaction to Chinese pepper. Aniseed pepper does not contain any allergens either. However, as humans can be allergic to anything, caution is advised.

Can I grow Szechuan in my own garden?

As mentioned, Szechuan pepper grows in various places in Asia. The good thing about the yellowwood plant, however, is that it can also grow in Europe. The yellowwood tree is hardy and can therefore survive in Central Europe.

The yellowwood tree survives the European winter.

Growing Szechuan pepper yourself – is it possible?

If you like to have the pepper in your garden, it is best to get a ready-made plant from a specialist dealer. However, the garden should be at least half-sunny so that the plant can survive. Otherwise, the yellowwood tree has no great demands on the soil and is very robust.

The Szechuan pepper is also offered as a bonsai tree. As the Szechuan plant is pruning tolerant, it is well suited as a bonsai. It should be repotted every two years in spring.

How is Szechuan pepper properly cared for?

Since the yellowwood tree does not have any great requirements, its care is also easier compared to other plants. The fruits of the tree can be harvested in August. If you want more leaves than fruit, you should cut the plant back in summer. The leaves can be harvested from April.

The black seeds of the yellowwood tree do not taste good and should be sorted out. The reddish-brown fruit walls, which are also called seed pods, should be used.

Image source: unsplash.com / Wesual Click

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