I was very disappointed to find out that McCormick had discontinued my favorite pepper blend of all-time! I loved to sprinkle it on my eggs; made everything very tasty. This disappointment came a few years ago (circa 2006) and today it’s still on my mind. I proceeded to re-create the Szechuan pepper blend last year and met with some small success (not quite the same but it will do for now). Just in case you loved the pepper blend as much as I did; and wanted to know the ingredients so you can try your hand at possibly re-creating it, here’s the list…
- Spices: Black Pepper, Red Pepper, Ginger, Garlic, Sugar, Onion, Salt, Extractives of Paprika (I worked only with mixing the spices in an empty spice container and didn’t concern myself with the tricalcium).
- Tricalcium Phosphate
McCormick on Szechuan Style Pepper Blend: “Turn up the heat! Use this spicy blend to give your foods that famous flavor of the Orient. Shake on steak, chicken, or pork before grilling or broiling. Sprinkle on shrimp and saute in small amount of butter; serve on cooked noodles or rice. Add to stir-fried vegetables, cooked rice, or marinades. Spice up pizza, hamburger or subs.”
I bet my husband is tired of seeing me carefully perusing through the supermarket spice section (just about every time we go food shopping) hoping that McCormick has brought back its magic blend. As an aside, I’m also upset that Shake ‘n Bake discontinued its Honey Mustard flavor (also the best of the bunch).
One word of caution, the mix is very pungent and is an irritant to the nostrils so if you have to smell it to gauge the success of the mix, do not put your nose directly over it! I learned the hard way =(. Judging from the second picture, there is a texture difference between what I made and the original recipe. I’ve been trying to guess the exact proportions of each ingredient and haven’t reached perfection yet; though I haven’t thrown in the towel either.
*Addendum August 14, 2013:
A chain of sneezes later and without further adieu this is so far the closest I’ve gotten to the original blend (see below). One slight noticeable difference is that mine was sweeter and less smokier than the original. I like it though =)…
- black pepper: 6 turns of the mill
- red pepper flakes: 1 tsp.
- ginger: start with 1/2 tsp. You may go up to 1/4 tsp. but the mix will be sweeter. Ginger was definitely the sweet factor.
- powdered roasted garlic: 2.5 tsp. Garlic is the smoky factor.
- granulated sugar: 1 tsp.
- onion powder: 2 tsp. Semi-sweet factor.
- onion salt: 1/8 tsp. or a few quick sprinkles.
- paprika: 1/4 tsp.
I hope this helps and I encourage you to play with this recipe and customize it to your preferences. Happy spicing everyone!
P.S. I apologize for taking so long in replying to your messages and updating this post. Hopefully you will try this recipe, like it, and easily forgive me =)