Pickled fruits of Japanese prickly ash “Mi-zansho”

It is also called “Japanese pepper”, which taste is tangy but not hot.

Mizansho, Sansho no mi, Japanese Pepper

The Japanese prickly ash, “Sansho” in Japanese, is an elementary spice in Japanese cuisine.  It has a numbing aftereffect on the tong, similar to Szechuan Pepper.

– Fresh leaves are called “Kinome”, provide a highly aromatic addition.
– Young green fruits are called “Mi-zansho”, simmered in soy sauce, sake, and mirin after parboiling.
– Dried split pods are called “Kona-Zansho”, the bitter black seeds are removed and grounded into a flaky powder.

And the tree is often used as a material of pestle for mortar.

Mizansho, Sansho no mi, Japanese Pepper
Mizansho, Sansho no mi, Japanese Pepper

The fruites of sansho have something like snail tentacles.  They are stigmas, reproductive organs of the pistil and they are pollinated with pollen in their tip.  The fruits are produced in the bottom of stigmas, ovals.

<How to prepare>

  1. Wash the vine fruits of sansho.
  2. Boil them in plenty of water with salt.
  3. Drain water, then remove the stems, sprays, and leaves.
  4. Soak in water, changing water at sometimes, until reduce the numbing aftereffect on the tongue as your taste.
    * Soak for 6-10 hours.
  5. Simmer them (200g) in sake (1.5cup), soy sauce (1cup), and mirin (1 tbs) for 10 minutes.
Mizansho, Sansho no mi, Japanese Pepper
Mizansho, Sansho no mi, Japanese Pepper
Mizansho, Sansho no mi, Japanese Pepper
Mizansho, Sansho no mi, Japanese Pepper
Mizansho, Sansho no mi, Japanese Pepper

 

After hard job, well-groomed and clean-cut.

Mizansho, Sansho no mi, Japanese Pepper

Now  cook “Chirimen-sansho” with fresh prepared mi-zansho, which is used as Japanese seasoning meant to be sprinkled on top of cooked rice or to be mixed with rice balls.

 

<Chirimen-sansho>

  1. Put sake (0.5cup), soy sauce (3 tbs), and mirin (3tbs) in a pan, and bring to boil.
  2. Add chirimen-jako (150g) and once it’s boiled, turn the heat down low and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add mi-zansho (5tbs), then simmer untle sauce is reduced.
  4. Spread on kitchen paper and dry them in a well-ventilated place for half a day.
Chrimen sansho, Simmered Japanese Pepper with small sardines
Chrimen sansho, Simmered Japanese Pepper with small sardines
Chrimen sansho, Simmered Japanese Pepper with small sardines

 

Good for fresh cooked rice.  🍚 🍚 🍚

Chrimen sansho, Simmered Japanese Pepper with small sardines

・Sansho
is a  Japanese prickly ash (Zanthoxylum piperitum).  It is one of most elemental spices in Japanese cuisine. 山椒(さんしょう) literally “mountain prickly ash”
・Mi-zansho
is a young green fruit of sansho (Japanese prickly ash). 実山椒(みざんしょう) literally “fruit mountain prickly ash”
・Kinome
is a leaf of sansho (Japanese prickly ash). 木の芽(きのめ) literally “buds of tree”
・Kona-zansho
is grounded flaky powder of dried split pods of sansho (Japanese prickly ash). 粉山椒(こなざんしょう) literally “powder mountain prickly ash”
・Chirimen-Jako
is a whitebait boiled and dried more firmly than Shirasu.  縮緬雑魚(ちりめんじゃこ) literally “wrinkle minnow”