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"Prickly ash" - spiced salt

You know what happens when Sichuan peppercorns fall in love with salt? Magic happens. I came upon this recipe in one of the old "Chinese Home-Style Cooking" (Wang Jinhuai and Xue Yuan, Foreign Languages Press, Beijing, 1990), in the introduction to recipes and this note (not a recipe even) caught my attention.

The spice adds "salty" and "peppery" flavours to a dish. At first glance it may seem simple and maybe not time-worthy, but... let me tell how it elevates even a simple and humble bowl of hot rice!

It takes about 10 minutes to make and weeks to enjoy.

It is amazing to marinade meats, especially chicken and pork, to spice up soups, congee... I use it often and there will be a lot of recipes with this spice for sure.

Originally, the note calls for regular salt, but I made it with coarse see salt, to make it more delicate and balanced, but feel free to go your own way.

Of course, please remember to remove black seeds from Sichuan peppercorns before using! I write about it all the time and wherever I can, but black seeds make everything bitter and colour is also less exciting.

So, without further ado! Let's heat the wok!

What you need:

- 4 tbsp coarse sea salt

- 1 tbsp whole Sichuan peppercorns (skins, without black seeds)



Heat your dry wok or a frying pan with a thin bottom over medium heat. Fry salt until slightly golden, mixing from time to time to fry the salt evenly (approx. 1 minute). Transfer to a small bowl and allow to cool completely.


On the same dry wok or a frying pan with thin bottom, over medium heat, fry Sichuan peppercorns until you smell the fragrance (approx. 1 minute). Transfer to a small bowl and allow to cool completely.


Fine-grind first the peppercorn in a coffee grinder or spice grinder and sieve through a fine-mesh sieve to remove coarse husks and discard them. Do the same with salt and mix both of them. Store in an-air tight container as long as you want (but trust me, it disappears really quickly!).

For the Thermomix preparation:

1. Place roasted salt and Sichuan peppercorns then grind 30 sec/speed 10. Sieve through a fine-mesh sieve to discard bigger husks.

Give this bebe a chance! Let me know here or on Insta if it really did surprise you!

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