“Not many people know that Sichuan pepper has two varieties,” says Yao Zhao, creator of 50Hertz green Sichuan pepper oil. “The red are more common and have the classic mapo tofu flavor. And then there's the green one, which is brighter and fresher, with a grassy aroma.”
Zhao learned of green Sichuan pepper oil three years ago when visiting family in his native Chongqing for Chinese New Year. Even in China, the green varietal is harder to find. So he started 50Hertz to share the mouth-tingling sensation and uniquely bright, citrusy flavor of green Sichuan peppercorns with American home cooks.
To make his custom oil, he infuses fresh green Sichuan peppercorns with cold-pressed rapeseed oil, and he uses a varietal of green Sichuan peppercorn called Jiu Ye Qing, which is especially flavorful and delivers that characteristic mouth-numbing quality that blooms gradually on the palate.
Though you can use it as a substitute in any recipe calling for toasted and ground Sichuan peppercorns, 50Hertz's Green Sichuan Pepper Oil has a light, delicate quality that makes it ideal for chicken, fish, shellfish and vegetables.