13 Top Recipes with Szechuan Peppers

Hunan Kung Pao
Photo: DIZ

If you love spicy Szechuan cuisine, you already know that Szechuan peppercorns put the tingle to the tongue but they aren't actually spicy hot. These top-rated recipes show off the tingly side of Szechuan. Most call for full-on Szechuan peppercorns. A few others call for Chinese Five Spice, which, because it's a blend of spices, may not reveal the full funkiness of the Szechuan pepper, but they will provide a tasty, tingly introduction to the Szechuan peppercorn experience.

01 of 14

Szechuan Peppercorn Salmon

Szechuan peppercorns and garlic create a tasty spice rub for simple broiled salmon. "This simple and delicious marinade is great!" says Frances Fraser. "I used a little extra garlic and pepper to taste and added sesame seeds too. I combined my spices with the oil to marinade instead of applying separately."

02 of 14

Szechuan Green Beans

Spicy Szechuan Green Beans

A quick and easy green beans side dish with Szechuan peppercorns, garlic, and sesame seeds. "My take on the long green beans you find in some of the Asian fusion restaurants," says Jordan VanDijk. "If you don't have the Szechuan peppercorns this dish will still taste great, though you may want to add some chili flakes or other spice to give it some pep instead of the peppercorns."

03 of 14

Sichuan Hot and Sour Potato

Sichuan Hot and Sour Potato
Sichuan Hot and Sour Potato. Buckwheat Queen

You'll cut the waxy potatoes into matchsticks and cook them quickly in a hot wok with red pepper flakes, ground Sichuan pepper, and garlic, finishing with vinegar, soy sauce, and chopped cilantro. "My husband had this dish on a recent trip to China and came home raving about how delicious it was. It is super spicy, tangy, simple, and oh-so tasty," says Buckwheat Queen.

04 of 14

Spicy Pickled Okra

pickled okra in jars

With lots of garlic, chili flakes, and Szechuan peppercorns, these pickled okra have some kick and a nice smoky flavor thanks to smoked paprika. A great garnish or snack. "Great recipe," says Ghenghis. "I also use toasted mustard seeds with the Szechuan peppercorns."

05 of 14

Chinese Hand-Pulled Noodles in Beef Broth

Chinese Hand Pulled Noodles in Beef Broth

"Hand-pulled noodles are a tradition from Lanzhou in Northwest China," says Anonymous. "Called 'lamian,' the 6- to 9-feet-long noodles are made simply with water, flour, and patience! Served with a delicate beef broth, this is a truly special Chinese regional dish."

06 of 14

Hunan Kung Pao

Hunan Kung Pao

Cubes of chicken breast and peeled shrimp cook with spicy chile peppers, garlic, Szechuan peppercorns, and bell peppers. "Best tasting Kung Pao I have had," skcolmery. "Used 16 Chinese red chiles and was just right. Hot but not overwhelming. If you add the Szechuan peppercorns it will not seem so hot."

07 of 14

Chinese Dong'an Chicken

To make this traditional Hunan chicken dish, you'll poach a whole chicken, then de-bone it and stir-fry it with chiles, ginger, rice wine, and Szechuan peppercorns.

08 of 14

Fiery Pepper Chicken

"This chicken dish is straight from the Szechuan province of China and it is hot!" says Bald Guy. "It is known in China as Chong Qing Lazi Ji. Unfortunately, substituting black peppercorns for Szechuan will not taste right."

09 of 14

Salt and Pepper Grilled Chicken Wings

These wings are grilled and tossed with sea salt and ground Szechuan peppercorns in a recipe inspired by Chinese salt and pepper squid. "I love to order salt and pepper squid at our local Chinese take-out restaurant. I thought the spice blend would be fantastic on grilled chicken wings," says witchywoman. "I order the Szechuan peppercorns online and roast them as I need them. Don't worry if there is more spice blend than you need, it keeps for quite some time in a sealed container and you'll find yourself sprinkling it on a variety of different things."

10 of 14

Chinese Spareribs

Chinese Spareribs
Photo by eriko. eriko

This recipe uses Chinese five-spice powder, a spice blend that combines Szechuan pepper with fennel seed, star anise, cinnamon, and cloves. "I love this recipe," raves Inorto. "You must use the five-spice powder or star anise to get the true flavor."

11 of 14

Amber's Sesame Chicken

Amber's Sesame Chicken

Here's another recipe that calls for Chinese five-spice powder, along with honey, teriyaki sauce, and red pepper flakes. "Wow! The five spice powder sauce made this fabulous," says Marvels51.

12 of 14

Grilled Five Spice Chicken

closeup of a juicy-looking grilled chicken thigh
Allrecipes Magazine

This grilled chicken features a marinade starring five-spice seasoning, along with lime juice, ginger, garlic, chile sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. "Chinese 5-spice powder has a proven track record of awesomeness when combined with smoky, caramelized meats," says Chef John. "This grilled five spice chicken recipe is a great example."

13 of 14

Mama's Asian Chicken and Rice

Mama's Asian Chicken and Rice

"This had a delicious flavor, everyone loved it," says CHERIMMHMM. "Had never tried the Chinese five-spice powder but it gave it a very unique, yummy taste."

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