This Zesty Japanese Seasoning Punches up the Flavor of Almost Anything

Photo:Getty Images/Arx0nt
Have you ever taken a bite of something and thought: "Now that's a well-seasoned dish!" You certainly have, and as someone who knows a thing or two about flavor, Well+Good's senior food editor Jessie Van Amburg recently got her first taste of a Japanese seasoning known as sansho powder.

Sansho powder is a close relative of Sichuan peppercorn. It comes from the green seedpods that grow on the Japanese prickly ash. The spice sparks a fiery numbness on the tongue, and its flavor is at once surprising and satisfying.

"I first tried sansho powder on a video shoot, and immediately fell in love with its taste," says Van Amburg. "It starts off with a subtle citrusy flavor, but leaves behind a nice heat on the tongue that temporarily numbs your tongue—in a good way! Sansho powder is traditionally used in Japanese cuisine in sushi and noodle dishes, but I could see this also being a great way to spice up roasted vegetables or even to add some heat to scrambled eggs or omelettes."

After researching some other ways to use the seedpod spice, I stumbled upon a vinaigrette that works like magic with grilled vegetables, a hot toddy recipe that looks about as cozy as a weighted blanket, and countless others. So grab some sansho powder (for $5 on Amazon) and start experimenting.

The difference between matcha and green tea:

This spice mimics the flavor of red meat, and these spices will help you, er, "digest." 

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