In Season: Sansho no mi

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.

About Risa

Host and creator of Savory Japan, a website about Japanese food and culture. Moderator of the Savory Japan Blog.
This entry was posted in Ingredients, Japanese Food, Travel to Japan and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to In Season: Sansho no mi

  1. dangerouslyhungrywolf says:

    wow those look good thanks for sharing please share more updates with us or even some rare desserts

  2. Hi, I have just discovered your blog and website and I LOVE it!!! I am learning Japanese cuisine at the moment and this website is going to be so helpful. Thank you. I do have one question (I may have many more later!!), you have a header picture on your recipes/sushi section of a piece of sushi that is cut in a rectangular shape with what looks like leaves printed/painted on the top. Is this a particular type of sushi? Can you tell me where the picture is from? I have looked on the Hotaru Images website but cant seem to find it. Many thanks in advance. Kindest regards. Hayley

  3. Risa says:

    Hi Hayley,

    The photo on the Savory Japan sushi page is oshi-zushi. Oshi means “pressed”, as this type of sushi is formed by pressing the fish and rice into a wooden mold. It’s mainly prevalent in the Kansai area (Kyoto, Osaka, etc.) rather than in Tokyo.

    As for the photo, I have to look through my files to see if I can find the name of the ryotei (traditional Japanese restaurant) in Kyoto’s Maruyama Park where that photo was taken. But I do remember that it was delicious: Vinegared saba (mackeral) sushi with kinome (sansho buds- just as described in this article) covered with paper-thin kombu (kelp).

    Thanks for searching on Hotaru images for the photo. It reminds me that we have to upload many more photos of food on the site!