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Healthy Food

Fried Chicken with Sichuan Pepper

Story

Makwaen or Sichuan pepper is a medium-sized tree, 5-10 meters tall, with thorns on its branches. The seeds turn brown when ripe and give off a fragrant aroma, similar to coriander seeds. Makwaen is a spice that is widely used from northern Thailand right up to southern China and during the reign of King Taksin the Great, growers in Nan sent Makwaen to the royal court as an offering. To this day, the most important source of Sichuan pepper cultivation is Na Muen District, Nan Province.

Although the spice has been in various local foods for decades, over the years Fried Chicken with Sichuan pepper has become a popular delicacy in Nan, possibly due to the chef from Nan who cooked the dish for Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn when she visited the province in 2009.

Subsequently, the Phu Fah Pattana Center in Nan Province encouraged the cultivation of Sichuan pepper. To restore forests and promote income for farmers, many northern dishes incorporate the herb in cooking such as Larb, Lu, Nam Prik, and curry. People in many northern provinces from Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, or Nan use Makwaen instead of black pepper by roasting the seeds on a low flame until fragrant, pounding them up and adding them to the food.

Health Benefits

A local delicacy from Nan province, Fried Chicken with Sichuan pepper features chicken wings deep-fried in salt and Sichuan pepper and is usually eaten with hot sticky rice. ‘Ma Kwuaen’ or Sichuan pepper is a spice that northern Thai people commonly use in their cooking to give the food a smokey, mildly spiced flavour.

  • ‘Sichuan Pepper’ is a tonic that’s nourishing element, solving element disabilities, and expelling gas in the intestines.
  • ‘Garlic’ is rich in allicin which enhances the innate and adaptive immunity.*
  • ‘Pepper’ contains piperine which is an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory effects.**

Ingredients

  • chicken drumsticks 200 gr
  • palm sugar 3 gr
  • sichuan pepper 2 gr
  • coriander root 1 gr
  • garlic 5 gr
  • white pepper 1 gr
  • fish sauce 20 gr

Directions

Pound the Sichuan pepper to a fine powder and then pound the garlic, coriander root and pepper together into a paste.

Marinate the drumsticks in the paste and season with fish sauce.

Heat a pan and fry the marinated chicken drumsticks in oil until cooked through.

Drain and serve.

Reference
* Moutia M, et al. Review Article In Vitro and In Vivo Immunomodulatory Activities of Allium sativum L. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2018; Article ID 4984659.https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/4984659
** Tasleem F, Azhar I, Ali SN, Perveen S, Mahmood ZA. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of Piper nigrum L. Asian Pacific journal of tropical medicine. 2014;7(Suppl 1):S461-S468.