On White Pepper
If you’ve never heard of white pepper, it’s a spice that’s ground up from white peppercorns. Also, fun fact: black and white pepper actually both come from a fruit. The same fruit, to be exact. White peppercorns, black peppercorns, green peppercorns, red peppercorns, these are all the same berry from the same pepper plant, piper nigrum.
The main difference is when and how they’re harvested and processed. Black peppercorns are dried as soon as they’re picked, and their skin becomes black and shriveled. White peppercorns are soaked for at least a week, which allows the outer skin to decompose. This leaves just the seed to be dried, with its distinctive heat and concentrated spiciness.
As you’ll see in my dad’s recipe, even just a teaspoon of white pepper is enough for a pretty noticeable kick of heat.
Finding Asian Ingredients
Some of these ingredients are hard to find in a typical grocery store.
If you don't live near an Asian market, most or all of what my dad uses in this recipe can be found on Amazon:
I've also included some other Chinese kitchen essentials, used in many of my dad's other recipes.
These links are affiliate links, which means that if you use our links to purchase these ingredients, Amazon pays my family a small amount for the sale - at no extra cost to you. If you use these links, we really appreciate the support!