A spice with many medicinal properties
Do you like to flavor your food with spices? Then you are going to love knowing Sichuan pepper, as it will help you to give a different and distinctive touch to any dish. Discover in this article what nutrients it has and how you can use it. Do not miss it!
What is Sichuan pepper
I tell you in case you still do not know, that this spice has its origins in the province of Sichuan, in China . But, although it is called pepper, due to its resemblance to black peppercorns , it has nothing to do with it. In Asian countries, Sichuan peppercorns is also known as huajiao, and it is one of the main ingredients of the so-called five Chinese spices.
In fact, they are the fruit of the thorny ash tree , known in botany as Zanthoxylum simulans, belonging to the citrus family, small in size. These are small, fragrant, reddish-brown berries that ripen in spring.
Once the berry is ripe, it splits to release round black seeds. After sowing, the outer layer or shell of the seeds is collected , which is what is known as Sichuan pepper , while the seeds are discarded. Do you want to know what this spice is made of and what are its benefits? Pay attention to the following paragraphs.
Nutritional value of Sichuan pepper
Regarding its nutritional contribution, Sichuan pepper is a rich source of:
- Essential oils
- Terpenes: beta-myrcene, limonene, geraniol, linalool, cineole, citronella and dipentene.
- Minerals: copper, potassium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc.
- Vitamins: vitamin A, carotenes, pyridoxine and thiamine.
- Antioxidant compounds
Its essential oils are what give this exotic spice its citrus flavor, while its aroma is given by terpenes. Its spicy character is due to the alcamidas embedded in its shell.
Medicinal Benefits of Sichuan Pepper for Health
- It is digestive. It will help you digestion better, because it produces an increase in gastrointestinal juice and in the secretion of intestinal enzymes.
- It is antiseptic
- It is antispasmodic
- It is carminative
- It is expectorant
- It’s exhilarating
- Acts as a tonic
- Soothe toothache.
You love the idea of using it in your meals, but have no idea how to do it? Take note of the next tips.
How to consume Sichuan pepper
It is ideal to accompany and enhance the flavor of:
- Chicken dishes
- Duck dishes
- Pork preparations
- Smoked chili peppers
You can combine it with star anise, coriander, chives, cumin, and ginger.
Other healthy spices to flavor your dishes
- Use of ginger . It is a root, which is used either fresh or dried, throughout the world, although its most widespread use is in oriental cuisine. You will know how you can stand out in the preparation of your dishes, incorporating it as a species.
- Use of cardamom . Its seeds are usually a typical condiment within Asian gastronomy, where its spicy and spicy flavor is weighted. You will know in which dishes it works best.
- Use of coriander . This herb looks a lot like parsley in its leaves and shape, but not so much in taste. You will discover its medicinal properties and how to use it to prepare your meals.
- Use of cassia . You will discover all the nutritional and aromatic qualities of this spice, usually confused with cinnamon.