Where to use Cubeb pepper
Explore its herby honey flavours
Its flavours are both mild yet rich, making it perfect with both sweet and savoury dishes. Local people infuse it as a remedy for fever, to ease digestion and they even chew it like a sweet.
How to get the best from your Cubeb pepper
Our recipe ideas for Cubeb pepper:
· Strawberry cubeb smoothie: add half a teaspoon of Cubeb pepper to your blender and whizz;
· Gooey peppery chocolate cake: add 4 ground Cubeb peppercorns to the chocolate and butter then melt over a low heat;
· Wok-fried vegetables: add a teaspoon of ground Cubeb pepper to the wok with the vegetables before frying;
· Chocolate mousse: add half a teaspoon of ground Cubeb pepper to your melted chocolate;
· Apple compote: add a teaspoon of ground Cubeb pepper to your apples before cooking them;
· Seabass with Cubeb pepper: crack 3g of Cubeb pepper and place in a saucepan with shallots, white wine, white vinegar, salt and aromatic herbs then leave to reduce;
· Port flambéed melon with Cubeb pepper: caramelize some honey in a frying pan, add a teaspoon of cracked Cubeb pepper and add the slices of melon to the pan. Flambé with port and reduce, constantly basting the melon.
Chicken with walnuts and goat’s cheese in a Vouvray sauce
For the vegetables:
4 black radishes;
1 lemon (juice);
1 teaspoon sugar.
For the stuffed chicken breasts:
60g fresh goat’s cheese;
4 chicken breasts (150g);
15cl Vouvray wine;
6 Cubeb peppercorns;
10cl single cream.
Peel the black radishes, rinse and place in a bowl of cold water with lemon juice so that they don’t go brown, then strain. Fry pan with 2 tablespoons of water and butter. Deglaze at the end with sugar, covering them well with the butter and sugar sauce. Set aside.
The stuffed chicken: Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Cut the goat’s cheese and gingerbread into small cubes and chop the chervil and the walnuts. Then put them all in a dish. Add salt and freshly ground Cubeb pepper. Mix well to form the stuffing. Fillet the chicken breasts and fill them with this stuffing. Place the stuffed chicken breasts in a casserole dish with the stuffing side down. Spread with butter and salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside in another dish and cover to allow the Cubeb pepper to infuse.
Use the casserole dish for the sauce. Fry the chopped shallots in butter over a low heat. Then when soft, add the white wine and deglaze. Leave to reduce to half the sauce then add the chicken stock and cream. Reduce again, season with salt and freshly ground Cubeb pepper.
Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts and serve immediately.
Smoked and fruity notes
Cubeb pepper has fruity aromas with notes of honey and smoked tea or herbal tea. Its delicate hints of sweet spiciness and resin are perfect with lobster tails, Asian dishes, exotic fruit compote or a chocolate and mint dessert.
The aromatic footprint of this pepper is slightly spicy with notes of menthol, and goes deliciously with chocolate mousse, or wok fried vegetables.
Cubeb pepper or Indonesian pepper
Cubeb pepper is harvested before fully ripe then dried and ground. The Indonesians also chew it directly like a sweet. This little tailed pepper grows mainly in South-West India, in Sumatra, Java or Borneo.
The botanical name of Cubeb pepper is Piper cubeba L.. It grows in the wild in the heart of the tropical forest as a creeper which climbs up trees as high as 10 metres. Harvesting Cubeb pepper requires great dexterity and lasts for about 1 month. The drupes of Cubeb pepper are harvested once they start to turn red, towards the month of June.
Each pepper plant produces on average 50kg of fresh pepper. Around 4kg of fresh pepper is needed to obtain 1kg of dried pepper. The peppercorns are left out to dry in the sun for 3 to 4 days so that the moisture can evaporate.
Where does cubeb pepper come from?
The story behind this surprising little pepper
Cubeb pepper is a false pepper, as it is not part of the Piper nigrum family!
It was imported to Europe by the Arabs in the Middle Ages, solely for medicinal purposes for respiratory problems or for witchcraft, for example to make love potions. In the 17th century, Cubeb pepper became rare because the King of Portugal decided to prohibit the use of Cubeb in favour of black pepper which he traded. Nowadays, Cubeb pepper is widely used in North African cuisine, for example it is used in the raz-el-hanout spice blend.
Cubeb pepper grows on creepers in Indonesia and is harvested before it is fully ripe then dried in the sun which is what produces its dark colour.
|Genus and botanical species||Piper cubeba|
|TRACES EVENTUELLES D'ALLERGÈNES||céleri, sésame, moutarde, fruits à coques.|