I truly enjoyed this simple tribal pepper-salt mixture adopted from Beyond The Great Wall cookbook by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. I specifically prepared it as condiments for the delectable deep-fried pork dish. It is a roughly 3 to 1 blend of salt and round toasted Szechuan peppercorns. This simple pepper-salt mixture is also quite versatile. It can be used as a dry rub on meat before roasting and grilling.
- 3 dried red chiles or 2 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
If using dried chiles, dry-roast them in a small heavy skillet over medium-high heat until they soften, about 1 minutes. Turn out and coarsely chop; discard any tough stems. Transfer to a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder, or to a mortar, add 1 Tbsp of the salt, and rind or pound to a powder. Turn out into a bowl and set aside
Place the Szechuan peppercorns, and the black peppercorns, if using, in the skillet and dry-roast until just aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to the spice or coffee grinder or mortar, add the remaining 1 Tbsp salt (or 2 Tbsp if you aren't using dried chiles) and grind or pound to a powder. Add the powder to the ground chile-salt above. Let cool completely before storing in a clean glass jar
VARIATIONS: You can also use this mixture to flavor oil, for basting when you are grilling food. Stir about 1 Tbsp powder into 1/4 cup oil (suggested on olive oil, as well as in more traditional peanut oil or lard). Brush onto vegetables or meat just before you grill and/or as they are grilling