If you’ve ever traveled to Japan during the month of May, you probably had a chance to try fresh sansho no mi, the delightfully spicy pods of the sansho pepper plant. At least, we hope so!
For the uninitiated, it’s hard to describe this intensely spicy taste sensation, but we soon became hooked, buying fresh sansho no mi to take home. I’ve kept a bag in the freezer, using a tablespoon every once in a while to make tsukudani, simmering it with kombu (kelp) in dashi, sake, sugar and soy sauce. The result is so delicious that my husband calls to thank me whenever I put some in his bento.
Learn more about this wonderful spice — which is actually only one part of the versatile sansho bush that can be eaten — in our “in season” feature for May.