Kitchen Culture

tasty tidbits from the old-fashioned Japanese Kitchen


sanshō & kino

Sanshō (Zanthoxylum piperitum Asian prickly ash) has separate male and female plants. The tongue-tingling berries (above, left) are harvested from FEMALE plants... usually in May and June. The sunny-colored flowers (below, left) are harvested from MALE plants; sanshō leaves (above, right) are plucked from both male and female plants
Mature berries that have turned red (above, center), then brown and split to reveal dark inner seeds (above, right) are called wari-zanshō. They are harvested in the fall.

When dried and crushed they become kona-zanshō (below, left). Try sprinkling some kona-zanshō on skillet-fried eggs, or roast chicken.

When I can source fresh sanshō berries I wrap them snugly in plastic wrap and freeze them whole, defrosting as needed -- often to make spicy tsukudani (kelp relish). If you can't find whole fresh sanshō berries, more-readily-available kona-zanshō can also be used. Both variations are included in this recipe.

DOWNLOAD the recipe.