Sichuan peppercorns, also spelled Szechuan and Szechuwan, are a distinct and flavorful peppercorn. The flavor of Sichuan pepper is aromatic, complex, and a bit lemony. It is not hot or pungent like black pepper or chili pepper.
Sichuan peppercorns create a slight numbness and tingling sensation in the mouth. In China, this numbing and tingling sensation is referred to as “ma.” The unique mouthfeel is somewhere between a carbonated drink and a mild electric current.
Sichuan peppercorns are most often ground and put into spicy Asian dishes. They are most popular as a spice in Chinese, Tibetan, Nepali, and Indian cuisine.
Sichuan Peppercorns are also known as Chinese coriander.