Spice Shopping in Sichuan

Chengdu spice market

Enough Sichuan pepper to last a lifetime, plus chili peppers and sauces, from my favorite vendors in Chengdu

A Spicy Girl Shops for Spices~~

I just returned from a trip to Chengdu (and Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai). I never get enough of Sichuan, which may explain why I always try to bring all its goodies back with me. This is just some of the Sichuan spicy stuff I stuffed in my luggage, bought at Chengdu’s jaw-dropping wholesale spice market, its fascinating supermarkets  and wet markets and a sidewalk artisan food stall with the best sauces on earth (really!):

  • Three kinds of freshly dried Sichuan chili peppers, or la jiao, from mild to hot, plus chili flakes, from the Chengdu spice market
  • Four kinds of Sichuan pepper, or hua jiao, straight from Hanyuan County: two packages of dried red, one of dried green, and one of fresh green Sichuan pepper, still on the vine, bought at the Chengdu spice market
  • One package of the best Pixian douban jiang (chili bean paste), purchased onsite at Sichuan’s original douban factory
  • Two artisan sauces from a Pixian street vendor: a douchi (back bean) sauce with chili peppers and Sichuan pepper, and a chili oil with crispy chili flakes and a variety of nuts
  • A package of spicy pickled Jerusalem artichoke from the same Pixian street vendor

I’ll be writing more about this trip and my latest finds in Chengdu, but for now, here are my shopping highlights.

Chengdu spice market

One of hundreds of spice merchants at Chengdu’s wholesale spice market

Chengdu spice market

These Spicy Girls (as Sichuan women are called) are clearly enjoying their work sorting chili peppers

Chengdu spice market

My absolute favorite spice merchants, so friendly and helpful, with great advice on the best peppers

Chengdu street food

A Chengdu street vendor selling pickled and preserved sauces, vegetables and snacks made in Pixian County

Chengdu street food

Unbelievably delicious, artisan-made douchi (black bean) sauces and chili oils

Chengdu street food

To-die-for pickled vegetables; I know because I sampled them all and came home with the best 


In December 2016, we opened an online SHOP to sell products such as these described here, imported direct from Sichuan spice markets. We have the widest range of Sichuan chili peppers and the freshest Sichuan pepper you’ll find in the U.S.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *