Extracting the coveted tingling flavor from Sichuan peppercorns

Noodles are tossed in an oil flavored with Sichuan peppercorns, then finished with peanuts, green onions, cilantro, garlic and more peppercorns but this time ground into a powder. (Photos by E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

To use Szechuan peppercorns in recipes, you can heat them in oil to extract their flavor, or grind them and use the powder.

If you’re like me, God help you, you’re a sucker for cheap thrills, like the exciting physiological response that accompanies various items of consumption.