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Ma khaen berry

Ma khaen berry

Discover an exceptional berry, the ma khaen berry

This berry with aromas of mandarin and smoked tea is traditionally cooked by Laotians and Vietnamese in a sauce with grilled chicken with lemongrass, ginger, and chili.

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How to use ma khaen berries or mountain berries in your dishes?

In Laos and northern Vietnam, this berry, also known as mountain berry, is cooked in sauce with grilled chicken seasoned with lemongrass, ginger, and chili. It is best to crush the berries with a mortar. They can also be crushed with a pepper such as cubeb pepper, for example.

How to use ma khaen berries?

Our recipe ideas for using ma khaen berries in your cuisine:

· vegetable tart and Sainte-Maure cheese by chef Didier Edon : Serve the Tarts with a mixed salad topped with a few shavings of Sainte-Maure goat cheese. Season with a little fleur de sel and ground ma khaen berries;

· chocolate fondant with candied citrus zest : infuse 6 ma khaen berries in your melted chocolate;

· baked lobsters : before serving, crush 5 ma khaen berries and sprinkle them over your still hot lobsters;

· roast duck and glazed turnips: before serving, crush 5 ma khaen berries and sprinkle them over your roast duck;

· confit pork cheek and grilled vegetables : add 4 crushed ma khaen berries to your vegetables during cooking.

Discover detailed recipes with ma khaen berries

3 easy and quick recipes to discover here

See the chicken recipe with ma khaen berries

Aromas of mountain berries

To the eye, this small berry, star-shaped, contains three seeds set in a light brown husk.

On the nose, the delicate aromas of these berries, with notes of mandarin juice and candied grapefruit zest, evolve in successive touches on scents of lemongrass and smoked Chinese tea. All this is enveloped by very subtle hints of menthol that refresh the whole.

On the palate, the attack is of medium intensity, fresh and tangy, leaving in the end the astonishing impression of a citrusy juice peppered with flavors of lime.

The botany of ma khaen berries

How do ma khaen berries grow?

Ma khaen berries are exclusively harvested by women from the Akha ethnic group in northern Laos and northwestern Vietnam. The Akha are a mountain people, with an animist culture. They mainly live in the province of Muang Sing, on the border between Myanmar, Laos, and China. The main flavorings of Akha cuisine are salt, garlic, chili, and ma khaen berries. This spice is also harvested and cooked in Vietnam, where it is called Mat Khen (mountain pepper, because it is harvested in the mountains), in the Diên Bièn Phu region, and in Thailand, under the name of Ma Kwaen, in Chang Mai. It is harvested in January between 500m and 1500m altitude.

The spice we consume is actually, botanically speaking, the fruit of a small prickly tree endemic: Zanthoxylum armatum of the Rutaceae family (the same family as citrus fruits). The fruit consists of a reddish-brown follicle. When ripe, the follicle opens and releases black seeds. This is the sign that the harvest can begin. Generally, it takes place in January, between 500 and 1500m altitude.

The names of ma khaen berries

English speakers call it Forest pepper, without making the distinction with its Vietnamese counterpart. During the colonial period, in France, Ma Khaen berries were nicknamed Pepper Flower in reference to its shape. In Laos and Vietnam, ma khaen berries are used to preserve game by embalming them.

Ma khaen berries are available in the custom set dedicated to world peppers

Learn more about pepper

What is a "pepper"?

Piperology: the science that studies peppers

Learn more about the genus Zanthoxylum and its species

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Allergen Absence
Native country VIETNAM
Ingredients ma khaen berry
TRACES EVENTUELLES D'ALLERGÈNES céleri, sésame, moutarde, fruits à coques.