Szechuan pepper: a unique scent

Szechuan pepper: a unique scent

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The Sichuan pepper tree is the shrub that offers the delicious Sichuan pepper

In summary, what you need to know:

Last name : Zanthoxylum Piperitum
Family : Rutaceae

Type : Shrub
use : Insulated, tray and massive
Height : 4 to 5 m

Exposure : Sunny
Foliage : Obsolete

Flowering : May to June -Harvest : September October

Easy to grow, sichuan pepper grows very well in our climates and becomes very easy to use in cooking.

Sichuan pepper plantation

It is best to plant the Sichuan pepper treein spring or in autumn.

The Sichuan pepper tree can also be planted throughout the year avoiding periods of frost and hot weather.

Even if the Zanthoxylum piperitum or Sichuan pepper plant is quite tolerant of the nature of the soil, still avoid waterlogged soils.

From planting, water generously and regularly without flooding the roots of the shrub

  • Adding fertilizer to the planting at the bottom of the hole improves the rooting, recovery and growth of the Sichuan pepper tree.
  • Follow our tips for planting shrubs

Sichuan pepper plant in pot:

It is a shrub that is very suitable for growing in pots or containers, as long as you plan to repot every 2 or 3 years.

  • Make sure the pot is well drilled at the bottom
  • Put a bed of gravel or clay balls at the bottom to improve drainage
  • Fill the pot or the container with special citrus soil

Sichuan pepper plant cutting

The Sichuan pepper cuttings take place in summer, on semi-hardwood.

  • Take cuttings of 15 cm from July to September, on sowing-hardwood (by still hard)
  • Remove the bottom leaves to keep only one or 2 pair (s) of leaves in mind.
  • If necessary, dip the base in the cutting hormone powder.
  • Plant the cuttings in a special cutting soil and place the cuttings in the light but without direct sunlight.
  • Keep the substrate slightly damp and then reduce watering in winter.
  • Protect the cuttings in winter by keeping them cool but protected from frost (ideally around 5-10 °)
  • Read also: good cuttings for shrubs

Sichuan pepper seeds are best sown in the fall, when the pepper is harvested.

You can also plant Sichuan peppers in the spring after keeping the seeds cool.

Caring for the Sichuan pepper plant

Here is a low-maintenance tree that you can improve growth with a little care to promote a good crop of Sichuan pepper.

Considered hardy and resistant to negative temperatures down to -15 °, it is a plant that does not require much of the nature of the soil.

On the other hand, it is important to water in hot weather or prolonged drought, especially for Sichuan pepper trees grown in pots.

Insensitive to pests and diseases, the Sichuan pepper tree is sometimes attacked by aphids.

  • here's how fight against aphids.

In video, the maintenance advice of our Sichuan pepper expert:

Sichuan pepper plant size

The Sichuan pepper tree, whether isolated, in a hedge or in a bed does not require no particular size.

But he is often nice to him give a beautiful figure, especially when it is part of a hedge.

  • It is best to prune in winter, outside of frost periods of course.
  • Do not prune the shoots of the year as they will give pepper.
  • So we just cut the wood that grows inward in order to free this part of the pepper tree and let in the sun.
  • We remove fragile or dead branches.

For Sichuan pepper trees in pots, plan to prune them more sharply each year to contain their growth and allow them to keep in pots longer.

Harvesting Sichuan pepper, use in cooking

Harvesting takes place in late summer and early fall, usually in September-October.

We then see small balls covered with a pink film appear and it is this pink film that gives the pepper and not the small ball.

Place a mat or sheet under the pepper plant and shake the stems that will drop the Sichuan pepper.

Finally, dry the pepper before use in cooking.

Unlike classic pepper, the inside is inedible. It is part of the same family as the orange trees and lemon trees.

Use of Sichuan pepper in cooking:

The sichuan pepper is a citrus fruit of Asian origin, cultivated and used as a spice. We appreciate it for its lemony aromas.

We will gladly use Sichuan pepper to flavor and spice the fish tartars or one carpaccio from Saint-Jacuqes.

On the meat side, Sichuan pepper is also very useful in association with pork, the chicken or the duck when cooked with citrus or some exotic fruits like mango for example.

Finally, you will also use Sichuan pepper for your asian dishes, whether directly in the wok or to season the rice.

Smart tip

Be careful to put on gloves when harvesting because the stems of the Sichuan pepper tree are spicy.

© Marina Denisenko

Video: How to Make Authentic Sichuan Spicy Chili Oil Recipe, CiCi Li - Asian Home Cooking Recipes (June 2022).