I have been yearning for some Sichuan spiciness after 10 days in cheesy Switzerland (it’s impossible to get a salad or meal without it!). I devised this recipe from various sources as I thought it would be a lovely complement to ma po tofu . Son came for supper and our mouths tingled from the Sichuan peppercorns – a little goes a long way, be warned. I always dry roast mine in a frying pan first, before grinding.Thus I would go easy on the chillies oil the ma po tofu! I remember eating Sichuan food in China – it is the hottest I have ever eaten anywhere, so this is suitably toned down. Bon app!
300g of tender-stem broccoli, cut into small strips
2 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
2-3 dried red chillies, whole
1/4 tsp ground and toasted Sichuan pepper
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced or grated fresh ginger
3 spring onions, white parts only, thinly sliced
125 g fresh shitake mushrooms, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 1/2 tsp chilli bean sauce or ordinary chilli sauce e.g. tabasco
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Rinse the broccoli and blanche in boiling water for a few minutes. Leave to drain and dry.
Prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the rice wine, chilli bean sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and salt until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
Heat a wok over high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom.
Add the chillies, Sichuan pepper, garlic, ginger, and scallions and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for another minute, until the mushrooms have browned and started to crisp. Add the sauce.
Add the broccoli and stir-fry for another 1 minute. Transfer to a plate and serve hot.