We’ve just returned home with full and happy stomachs thanks to Jodie, our sensei of Asian cuisine. I strongly recommend her personalized cooking class to anyone passing through Taipei! The class lasted about 4 hours, during which we learned several recipes for sauces based on flower pepper and sesame seed, Chinese minestrone soup, and the classic fried rice. Here are two extremely easy and flexible sauce recipes from today’s class:
Spicy Sichuan Flower Pepper Oil
- White sesame seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Dry chili flakes – 20g
- Flower pepper powder – 10g
- Cooking oil – 140ml
- Black sesame oil- 10ml
- Salt- half teaspoon
Your only difficulty in reproducing this sauce is converting the measurements (if your American), and finding flower pepper. Flower pepper is a common ingredient in cuisine from Sichuan and Yunnan in Western China. It is also known as sichuan pepper or xanthoxylum. You can find it in any Asian grocery store. If it is not available in powder form, roast and grind using a mortar beforehand. Jodie stresses using quality ingredients, so spend the extra money when selecting a sesame and cooking oil. You can find white and black sesame oil, the first is used for dressing and the second for cooking.
We served our sauce over fresh pineapple, a rousing combination of sweet and spicy! You can also try another tropical fruit, such as mango or papaya.
- Black or white roasted sesame seeds – half cup
- Roasted peanuts – half cup
- Crystal sugar – 2 tablespoons
- Oil – 135ml
- Black sesame oil – 15 ml
This is similar to the tahini I ate every morning in Turkey. You can use any type of nut for this paste, but the peanuts added a nice subtlety. Blend all of the ingredients together to create a smooth texture. For an appetizer or snack, you can serve with strips of raw vegetables, such as carrots or cucumbers. For a meal, you can serve with asian noodles, such as glass or seaweed noodles, or meat. If serving with noodles, you can add water, vinegar, soy sauce, and mashed garlic.
If you want more recipes, feel free to email me! I hope some of you will try out these recipes, and let us know your results! Both of these sauces can be refrigerated and kept for a long time.