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Foraging with Alexis Nikole Nelson.
Sichuan peppercorns give this simple dish a tongue-tingling quality, while the Chinese chili-bean sauce called toban djan provides spiciness and umami. To bring out the flavor and aroma of the peppercorns, toast them in a small skillet over medium until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Cool, then finely grind in an electric spice grinder. If you can’t find chili-bean paste, chili-garlic sauce is a decent substitute. And if you’re sensitive to spiciness, reduce the chili-bean sauce to 2 tablespoons or so. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
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