Tongue Numbingly Wonderful Sichuan Pepper Prawns.

sichuan-prawns-13-of-13Try saying that with a few drinks on board. “Tongue Numbingly Wonderful Sichuan Pepper Prawns” is a bit of a mouthful, in more ways than one. This is a really easy dish to prepare. There are very few ingredients and it is an absolute delight. I can only encourage you to try it. But, be warned, those Sichuan peppercorns will literally numb your tongue. 

To cook Sichuan Pepper Prawns for two moderately hungry people, I recommend the following ingredients:

  • 16 to 18 large uncooked prawns (shrimp) deveined and cleaned.
  • 2 teaspoons of Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 clove of good garlic
  • 2cm piece of ginger
  • 6 to 8 spring onions
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste

First dry fry the peppercorns to intensify their flavour and to make them easier to crush. Pound them in a mortar using a pestle (of course). Be sure to remove any of the shiny black seeds as they can be a bit gritty.

One of life's simple pleasures, grinding one's own spices.

One of life’s simple pleasures, grinding one’s own spices.

Peel and slice the garlic and ginger into very small pieces. Wash and slice the spring onions into small pieces.

I like to include a good deal of the green of the spring onions.

I like to include a good deal of the green of the spring onions.

Pat the prawns dry with kitchen paper. Toss them in the Sichuan peppercorns.

Get the spice well spread. It won't do you good to eat any lumps.

Get the spice well spread. It won’t do you good to eat any lumps.

Heat some oil in a wok and add the garlic and ginger. Stir fry until the aromas rise.

One needs to move fast from now.

One needs to move fast from now.

Before the garlic and ginger start to burn, add the sliced spring onions, reserving a few green pieces for decoration. Stir until they start to soften.

Stir in the prawns and keep stirring.

Stir in the prawns and keep stirring.

This dish is a real stir fry. One needs to keep stirring. Otherwise something will burn or be undercooked. Add the soy sauce.

Note that the prawns are just starting to cook at this stage.

Note that the prawns are just starting to cook at this stage.

Add the tomato paste and stir. Stir like a trouble-making relative at a shotgun wedding.

The dish comes together really quickly now. Keep stirring.

The dish comes together really quickly now. Keep stirring.

Take the wok off the heat. Serve the prawns with some nice sticky Thai fragrant rice.

It tastes about as good as it looks. Give it a go.

It tastes about as good as it looks. Give it a go.

You probably won’t be able to say “Tongue Numbingly Wonderful Sichuan Pepper Prawns with Thai Sticky Rice” for a while. At least not until the feeling comes back into your mouth. Trust me, it’s worth the wait.

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Latest comments
  • Stunning dish and excellent title Conor!

  • Looooove szechuan peppercorns, they are indispensible for so many delicious dishes. Will be trying this soon, so easy, so simple, so quick, so delicious, a winner of four fronts

  • You’re tormenting me! I have to try this.

  • That looks delicious – I love Sichuan cuisine 🙂

  • Amazing – I will definitely give this a go. Your oriental recipes have totally been a game changer for me – thank you 🙂

  • Mouthwatering! Love the seasoning.:)

  • This is one where I’ll be taking your word for it. I’m far too wimpy about the hot stuff, but I can almost smell the wonderfulness of it 🙂

  • The food and that bowl are gorgeous.

  • I really love your asian dishes. They are fabulous.

  • I will have to see if our local spice store carries these peppercorns. I can’t imagine they wouldn’t! My hubby and I love both shrimp and spicy, and this would be a quick weeknight meal for us, thanks!

  • I’m not a big fan of the numbing qualities of sichuan peppercorns, so if I try this I’ll probably limit things to 1/2 teaspoon or so. Looks great!

  • Mouthwateringly delicious it looks. Ok, that was another tongue twister.

  • Could not read and not comment, Conor! Easy! Fast! Fun! Lovely on the palate!! Honestly, Szechwan peppercorns [Yes, I am old-fashioned 🙂 !] are NOT hot just inexplicably flavourful !!! They are NOT pepper as such ! Add so much to so many dishes . . . love yours . . .

  • Sichuan Pepper, oh how I love thee.

  • That is one powerful bomb! Beautiful bowl, chop stick and chop stick stand.

  • ALthough I’ve been expanding my palate, becoming more accustomed to spicier foods, I think this one may be a bridge too far, Conor. I do like the sound of it, however, and I can us it as a goal. I’ll know I’ve arrived when I can eat these prawns and actually enjoy them.

  • It must be meant to be as I just bought a jar of sichuan peppers…the shrimp look great.

      • I’ve heard they can have a numbing effect.

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