What is the secret ingredient to Salt and Pepper Chips at Sweet Mandarin? Read on…..
Szechuan peppercorns. Szechuan province is renowned for its chillies and boats: ‘China is the place for food, Szechuan is the place for flavour.’ I remember enjoying these wonderful chillies during a visit to Szechuan and thought immediately they’d be perfect with our potatoes. Against a backdrop of breathtaking mountains, which reminded me of a Chinese calligraphy painting, I sat by a vast river watching the fishing boats bob on the water, intoxicated by the fragrance of the chillies. Szechuans believe that chillies are the heart of the nation and that if you can’t take the heat you aren’t a real Szechuan. It is certainly true that Szechuan peppercorns and red chillies create that biting, numbing spicy hotness that many people revel in. In this dish they are tempered with cooling potatoes, which offer a refreshing balance before the sparingly applied chillies kick in.