Simmered Japanese Pepper with Soy Sauce (Sansho no Tukudani)

Sansho Tsukudani

Sansho (Japanese Pepper) is only available in June and July in the market.  Now, it is the seasonal food.  It is used for herbal medicine, too.  Recently its efficacy is noteworthy from foreign countries and it is started to export.

It is eaten as several different form in Japan.  If you have eaten Unagi (Eel) in Japan, you may add a powder condiment on it.  It is the powder of Sansho.  Also we add when eat the wild duck.
Another form is its leaves.  It is called as “Kinome” in Japanese.  It is available in spring, and the typical usage is to add on Takenoko Gohan (Bamboo Shoot Rice).

Japanese pepper, SanshoI made Tsukudani (Simmered stuff) with using fruit of Sansho.
Its color is very beautiful green.  If you eat it, it is very spicy and you’ll feel tingling.  Normally, it is not eaten as it is.  There is a proverb, “Sansho is pellet, but it is very spicy.”  It means that the person may have prowess even he or she is smaller.  I am not big man, and my mother told me this proverb when I was kid.  But I am not sure what is my prowess.


  • 50g Sansho Fruit
  • 100ml Soy sauce
  • 2 tea spoon Rice Vinegar (10ml)
  • 60ml Cooking Sake
  • 2 tea spoon Sugar (10ml)

How to make:

1) Boil the Sansho Fruit in water for about 30 to 60sec.  Place it in cold water for about 1 hour.  Replace cold water 2 or 3 time.
Japanese pepper





2) Put soy sauce, rice vinegar, sake and sugar in a pot and boil it.  Then put Sansho fruit in a pot and place the lid on it.  Heat it on small heat until the sauce becomes less (for about 20 to 30 min).
how to make Sansho Tsukudani





Please take care not to heat too much.  Soy sauce is easy to burn and if it is burn, the taste will be worse.

Sansho on GohanEating it with hot steamed rice is very delicious.  Unfortunately, Sansho is only available in Japan and south Korea.  In China, there is a similar pepper, but it is different one.  Recently, it is exported to foreign countries.  So you may be able to find it.  Or if you are living in Japan, it will be good to try to make it.

Enjoy meal!