• Vietnam Prickly Ash

Vietnam Prickly Ash

Product code: Indian Prickly Ash
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Product details:

Botanical name: Zanthoxylum rhetsa
Process: Sun dry
Moisture : 13.5% max

Admixture : 1 % max
Packing: PP bag (net :1-5kg)
Origin: Viet Nam
Harvest season: Nov to Dec

Port of loading: Hai Phong Port, Viet Nam

Plant descreption:

Zanthoxylum pepper or prickly ash pepper is a spice that is harvested from the seeds from several plants that belong to the global genus Zanthoxylum in the family Rutaceae.

In China, Sichuan pepper is harvested from the seeds of Z. simulans, Z. bungeanum, or Z. armatum, collectivelly called Chinese prickly ash plants. In Japan, Sansho pepper is harvested from Z. piperitum, or the Japanese prickly ash pepper.

In Vietnam, prickly ash pepper is harvested from Zanthoxylum rhetsa, and is a major spice in northwestern Vietnamese cuisine. 
Z. rhetsa, Indian prickly ash, is known as mắc khén in Vietnam. Z. rhetsa is a woody, straight tree with thorns on the trunk, feather-shaped leaves with serrated edges. Z. rhetsa tree has gray-white flowers in clusters. Its flowers have a very fragrant smell due to the essential oil of the tree. From September to November, the tree will bloom and bear fruits. The whole bunch of peppercorns are harvesteda and hung in the kitchens of local people in mountainous northwestern Vietnam. Commercial products are made from sun-dried seeds (3-4 days).This is probably the most common prickly ash pepper in Vietnam. Mắc khén pepper is described as having the aroma of orange zest, and mild pungent taste. The price of mắc khén pepper is also higher than other prickly ash peppers. Sometimes the seeds of other Zanthoxylum plants are also mislabeled as mắc khén pepper.

Zanthoxylum rhetsa, commonly known as Indian prickly ash, is a species of flowering plant in the family Rutaceae and occurs from Vietnam, China & India. It is a deciduous shrub or tree with cone-shaped spines on the stems, pinnate leaves with between nine and twenty-three leaflets, panicles of white or yellowish, male and female flowers, followed by spherical red, brown or black follicles.

Indian Prickly Ash is a shrub or tree that sometimes grows to a height of 26 m (85 ft). The plant is sometimes deciduous and has stems with thick, cone-shaped spines on the older stems. The leaves are 140–230 mm (5.5–9.1 in) long and pinnate, with nine to twenty three egg-shaped to elliptical leaflets. The flowers are arranged on the ends of branchlets, sometimes also in leaf axils, in panicles up to 150 mm (5.9 in) long. Flowering occurs in summer and the fruit is a spherical red or brown to black follicle 6–7 mm (0.24–0.28 in) wide

Indian Prickly Ash grows in rainforest and coastal thickets from sea level to an altitude of 200 m (660 ft), and is found in Vietnam & China, India.

The minorities people in northern of Vietnam use the woody pericarp of the tiny fruits as a spice, particularly with seafood dishes. The spice is known as "Mắc Khén" in Vietnamese, "triphal" in Marathi and "teppal" in Konkani - both words referring to the three lobes of the pericarp. The spice contains a chemical ingredient, sanshool, a local anesthetic that causes a tingling sensation on the tongue. Sanshool is also the main principle of Sichuan Pepper, which comes from the related species Zanthoxylum bungeanum and the Japanese/Korean pepper Zanthoxylum piperitum. 


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