Friday, January 30, 2015

A Grinding New Obsession -- Fresh Green Peppercorns

Look closely.  See those little green nuggets mixed in with the crab and seasoning?  They are fresh green peppercorns.  They are used whole, usually attached in grape-like bunches to a bit of stem.
Not only do they add a bit of heat and a lot of flavor to what they are cooked with, but you can eat the fresh peppercorns (and even the stems) for additional heat and deliciousness.

I first had this amazing seasoning, so different from the brined or dried green peppercorns we see in the USA, in Phnom Penh, when an Israeli expat who grows them brought some for the local Chabad to use in a beef and green peppercorn entree for Friday night dinner.

I next had them at Otress Beach 2 (near Sihanoukville), Cambodia, which is near the peppercorn growing region of Kampot.  The green peppercorns are the fresh unripened and undried fruit of the plant.  They are very perishable and hard to ship, which limits their availability.  Besides having this crab dish and a sautéed seafood dish with them in Otress, we had them on Koh Rong Salaem island off the Cambodian coast.  We also spotted them in a few markets in Cambodia.  Here's a link to a crab and peppercorn recipe .  Once I return home and see if I can find fresh green peppercorns I'll post my own recipes.

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