Today's spice cupboard selection is Sichuan Peppercorns!
Over the years, I've read various recipes or little foodie jibber-jabbers about Sichuan Pepper, but I had never tried it. So, when I spotted some at Whole Foods, I nabbed it. As you know, friends, this is the story of my over-stuffed spice drawers. I see some exotic spice I've never had and I just have to get it. But then what? It sits in my spice drawer! Well, sit no more, I used a (very small amount) of my Sichuan pepper in tonight's dinner and it was great!
My assessment of the Sichuan pepper is that it is very, very similar to regular pepper. They do look a little different, but they didn't taste all that different to me. I'm am sure sophisticated foodies will say that one tastes more like "mossy oaks" and the other like "spicy old socks," but they are both awfully peppery. Lucky for me, I love pepper, so I am also a fan of Sichuan pepper. Even after my Black Pepper Tofu overload, I was ready to get back on good terms with some more pepper.
This stir-fry recipe called for frying the tofu in 6 tbsp of oil, but instead I just dry-fried the tofu and it turned out perfectly great. Oh, also, it called for 2 tsp of salt (along with the soy sauce!) - I used low-sodium soy sauce and just a scant 1/2 tsp of salt, and it was plenty flavorful. Mr. Vegan Eats & Treats and I both really enjoyed this meal - the tofu, eggplant and bok choy each added something nice to the overall dish and the seasoning in the sauce was great. This recipe only had a 1/2 tsp of ground Sichuan pepper in it, but you could definitely taste it. With pretty much every bite, I got a nice little zing of pepper - not too much, not too little! I learned my lesson after that other black pepper incident, folks!
-- VeganMoFo Hump Day Fun Time! --
Today we are (almost) half-way through our VeganMoFo madness! To celebrate, we are doing a virtual flash mob - featuring none other than illustrious awesomeness and fellow vegan Leslie Hall! Do you know about Leslie Hall? Queen of Gem Sweaters and gold stretch pants and totally awesome music videos? If not, your world is about to get ten times better. She is Way Fun. AND she has a super awesome - unreleased - song all about being vegan! So check it out and celebrate the half-way point of VeganMoFo:
click HERE to hear Leslie's song!
And read along with the awesome LYRICS:
I eat the finest cuisines, in the finest of places Stuff my mouth full and always say thank you. But if it's raised in a cage, and it can't even move, if it's hormone filled and in a bad mood. I'm gonna pass on that. Reach for something better. The only milk I'll drink comes from the nipple of a soy bean. Veggies make you live forever, and they seem to taste much better. when they're cooked and grown with love. So give a chef who knows what's up a hug. Momma just can't seem to get it, Papa he just rolls his eyes. When I tell them I'm much healthier, they just say that it's all lies. But beans, nuts, fruits and veggies can really fill the belly. Get you vitamins you need, shiny hair and extra speed. Don't take that meat-wich any further, I want a marinated, deep fried, hand-tied mushroom burger. I like it! We gotta stand strong for our feathered furry sometimes scaly animal friends and their little babies. 'Cuz I wouldn't want to live in a cage in a dark warehouse killed at an early age. Pumped full of hormones, sleeping in my feces. Never met my mother, raised by machines. Never get sunshine never get green, but that's just me. [That girl loves fruit leather.] So ask us what we're eating. Delicious and repeating, fruits and veggies are so nice. With a slice of tempeh, yes, I'll have that twice. Don't forget the legumes!