Recipe: Salty Sichuan Peppercorn and Chilli Cashews

Posted in Extras, Recipes

These roasted cashews make a salty, spicy and addictive snack.

I have the bright and beautiful China Town Kitchen book by Lizzie Mabbott. It’s one of the few books I brought with me from my kitchen in England all the way to Bavaria. The pages are littered with little star-shaped post it notes, telling me there’s a bunch of recipes I’d like to try and make. In the process of picking something new, I spotted a recipe for Sichuan Peppercorn Cashews. They looked quick and simple. My kind of snack!

The first batch was fine, but not quite to my taste. The nuts came out too dark, despite not finishing the full cook time and the balance of salt and spice wasn’t exactly what I’d wanted. Let me stress here that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the recipe itself, it just wasn’t fully suited to me. So mentally I made a few small changes and headed out to buy another bag of cashew nuts. This is the result… And I know they’re spot on for us, because within a couple of hours they’d gone.

If there’s any take away message from this post, it’s this: Have confidence in trying a recipe and tweaking the bits you’re not 100% on until you get the thing that’s just perfect for you. We’re all different with varying tastes, so I like to use recipes I find as guidelines, inspiration and resources for methods and skills. In the kitchen, I think we all get to learn from each other and adapt things to our own personal preferences.

These nuts are salty, a little spicy and have a gently floral quality from the Sichuan pepper. Give them your own personal tweak and enjoy!

Roasted Sichuan Peppercorn and Chilli Cashews

Adapted from a recipe in China Town Kitchen by Lizzie Mabbott, these cashew nuts make for a salty, spicy and addictive snack.

Course: Snack
  • 150 g Cashew Nuts, Unsalted, Unroasted
  • 1 level tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed Chilli Flakes
  • 1 heaped tsp Sichuan Peppercorns
  • 1/2 tbsp Sunflower Oil
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 120 C (fan assisted, 250 F), 140 C (standard, 275 F).

  2. Line a large baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.

  3. Give the Sichuan peppercorns a good bash around with your pestle and mortar until you've got a reasonably fine powder.

  4. In a large bowl, add the cashew nuts, salt, crushed chilli flakes and two thirds of the ground Sichuan peppercorns.

  5. Drizzle the sunflower oil over the top of the nuts and give everything a good mix. Make sure the cashew nuts are thoroughly coated! Tip: Use a silicone spatula. It's good for scraping all the flavoured oil off the sides of the bowl and back onto the nuts!

  6. Tip the coated cashew nuts out onto the baking paper in one single layer. Scrape any lingering oil out of the bowl and drizzle over the nuts on the tray. 

  7. Bake for 7 minutes, until the nuts are starting to turn a nicely golden colour. Give the nuts a good stir around the baking sheet, turning them over so they cook evenly. Bake for a further 7 minutes, or until they're perfectly golden.

  8. Remove the nuts from the oven, sprinkle over the remaining ground Sichuan pepper and leave for a few minutes to cool. Tip everything into a bowl and enjoy!


10th March, 2017
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