Get the Recipe
The message of this week's column is simple but worthwhile. It is this: if you put Sichuan peppercorns in your dumplings, they will be extraordinary. We lovers of the spicy, tingly peppercorn lament the dearth of good Sichuanese cuisine here in the States and by extension, the troubling absence of Sichuan peppercorns in our regular diets. Here, then, is a nice way to get your dumpling fix and satisfy your craving for Sichuan peppercorns in one fell swoop.
Though Chinese dumplings are sometimes served dressed in chili oil and Sichuan peppercorns, adding the peppercorns to the coating does not fundamentally change what it inside. Mixing toasted, ground-up Sichuan peppercorns into the meat filling itself, however, takes care of this problem. The result is a juicy dumpling so complex in flavor, it's become a regular filling in my dumpling line-up. It's the kind of dumpling that you'll find in Tibetan or Himalayan cookery, where momos are frequently served alongside a spicy, garlicky tomato sauce spiked with cumin.