A mini-guide to Green Peppercorns
Interestingly chilli pepper wasn’t always the foundation of spicy heat in the piquant cuisines.
Before chilli pepper, peppercorn was the primary source of spiciness in those spicy cuisines.
Green peppercorns are the unripe peppercorn berry that was originated in India. It is used as a spice to add flavour to the food. It is the same as black peppercorns and has been used since prehistoric times.
Peppercorns come in a different form depending on the stage of their ripeness.
There are black, white, red, pink, and green peppercorns. In this article, we will turn our focus towards green peppercorns and learn all about them.
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What are green peppercorns?
Green peppercorn is a fresh unripe form of peppercorn, which is essentially fresh fruit since they are plucked from unripe piper nigrum vine.
They taste fresh and slightly tart. Green peppercorns are the most refined fit on nimbler food items like fish, vegetables, and chicken.
Green peppercorns, as the name would suggest, are green in colour and are young in their development. At this stage, they are soft, slightly hot, but they do have a lively and robust aroma.
Since they are juicy and not as hot as other peppercorns, they are chewed on to stimulate a surge of flavour. Any guesses where in the world would that be?
You guessed it; it is Southeast Asia, not a big surprise, I know.
Small stems with rows of green berries are used in spicy fried dishes, flavoured soups, sauces, salad dressings, and dry curries.
Why Use Green Peppercorn?
Think about pepper, but in its purest state, that is green peppercorns for you. Green peppercorns are an outstanding substitute for chilli powder that we usually use.
They have a short life, but different methods keep them fresh for more extended periods. We will discuss those methods later on.
Green peppercorns have a unique scent and flavour. It is not as spicy or pungent as black pepper; it tastes just right.
Usually, it is 5-10 seconds before you start to feel the hot characteristics of green peppercorns, making your fish, meat, or sauces complex.
Green peppercorns go particularly well with fish, meat, and vegetables. It enhances the taste, flavour, and character of the food.
One great use of green peppercorns is in fruity, fresh foods like salads and sauces, etc.
5 Benefits of Using Green Peppercorn
Although green peppercorns are not as popular as black peppercorns, they are still one of the most important flavouring ingredients in delicate gourmet cuisines.
There are many reasons as to why one should consider using green peppercorns in their diet. Some of the benefits of green peppercorns are:
1. Source of Sodium
Controlled fluid flow in the bloodstream is vital for human health. Green peppercorns contain sodium, which helps do just that.
2. Prevention of Free Radical Damage
Vitamin C and Vitamin A are present in green peppercorns in abundance. These are potent antioxidants meaning that they combine with free oxygen atoms before they get a chance to combine with healthy cells. Thus diseases caused by free-radical damage are kept at bay.
3. Prevention of Intestinal diseases
Consumption of green peppercorns aids in the secretion of hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid helps reduce the gas buildup in our bodies. It also kills bacteria present in the food due to its antimicrobial nature, keeping us safe from any intestinal diseases.
4. It Helps Your Digestive System
Usage of any peppercorns famously helps with the digestive health of a person. However, green peppercorn, in particular, is very good for your digestive system.
Piperine is one of the most important compounds in green peppercorns. Piperine increases the rate of digestion by helping with the secretion of stomach juices.
5. It helps in managing your weight
Green peppercorns are rich in fibre. Fibre is a dietary item that is indigestible. Hence any food containing fibre tends to make your stomach work harder and longer to digest, burning more calories in the process, helping with weight management.
How is it made?
Green peppercorns originate from the same vine as black peppercorn, a plant known as Piper nigrum. It is in the initial unripe stage of black peppercorns. You can preserve green peppercorns in brine by using the following steps:
- Wash stalks of green peppercorns under the running water.
- Dry them carefully and thoroughly.
- Boil water with turmeric added to it.
- Add salt and vinegar after removing it from heat and mix it.
- Take a sterilized jar and add bay and garlic leaves.
- Put green peppercorns stalks in it carefully.
- Add oil to the solution you made earlier and pour it over the jarred peppercorns to soak them entirely.
- Let the solution cool off before closing the jar with the lid tightly.
- Store it in cool dark places.
Where to buy green peppercorns? How to pick the best?
Green peppercorns are seasonal. So if you pick them fresh, use them in some unique dishes soon because preserving them in their fresh state is impossible.
Since fresh green peppercorns are only available in pepper growing areas (tropical areas), some of you must be thinking, where can I buy green peppercorns?
Worry not; you can buy green peppercorns preserved, whether green peppercorns in brine, frozen, or any other form. In the UK, green peppercorns are available in supermarkets like Aldi, Waitrose, and some bigger branches of Tesco.
If you want to buy them online, green peppercorns are also available on amazon.co.uk.
How to cook with Green Peppercorns?
Green peppercorns are easily crushed even with your fingers. French and Thai cuisines are best known for their use of green peppercorns. When you need dehydrated green peppercorns, you can rehydrate them by soaking them into water or dry vermouth for about 40-60 minutes.
Fresh green peppercorns don’t have much shelf life, so people came up with ways to store them over the years.
Green peppercorns can be air-dried or freeze-dried; we can also keep them pickled packed in brine.
You can freeze the green peppercorns after giving them a rinse and removing their strings.
Don’t forget to put them in the plastic bag before freezing to avoid freezer burns.
Green peppercorns in brine are another way to preserve them. For this purpose, pickled fresh green peppercorns are tossed in vinegar and preserved.
Whole peppercorns can be stored for up to one year in a cool, dry place in a sealed container. Brined peppercorns have a shelf life of up to 3 years, but refrigerating them is highly recommended once opened. Ground pepper loses its flavour in and around four months.
Green Peppercorns are an under-ripe form of ever so popular black peppercorns with added texture, taste, and aroma due to their freshness.
Green peppercorns are found fresh in tropical areas but can be preserved and found in your local stores. They boost many health benefits along with the exquisite taste in delicate cuisines.
Green peppercorns may lack in popularity when compared to black peppercorns, but they do have their advantages.
Ever since I started cooking I’ve been fascinated by how different people’s techniques are and how they best utilise the ingredients around them. Even the person living next door will have their own unique way of frying an egg or cooking a salmon fillet.
This fascination led me on a journey across the globe to discover the countless practices and traditions the world of cooking has to offer. I thought you’d enjoy and find value in sharing that journey with me so I created Cooked Best!