Sansho Japanese Pepper, Whole

These tiny unripened seedpods are deceptive. A product of the Japanese prickly ash (Zanthoxylum piperitum) these little green pods are packed with citrus flavor and a tongue numbing tingle.


Spice Region
Inline map japan

These are a stronger version of the Sichuan Peppercorns, to which they are related. Sansho is used in Asian cuisines to add dimension to broths and sauces for fish, pork and vegetable dishes. It’s a common seasoning for chicken yakitori and broiled eel. Food science writer Harold McGee wrote: "they produce a strange, tingling, buzzing, numbing sensation that is something like … a mild electrical current. Sanshools appear to act on several different kinds of nerve endings at once, induce sensitivity to touch and cold in nerves that are ordinarily nonsensitive, [causing] a kind of general neurological confusion."

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