Tricky Dick Sichuan Pepper Glazed Donuts

Tricky Dick Sichuan Pepper Glazed Donuts

06 December 2021Yao Zhao

Download Recipe in PDF

We are so fortunate to get to know one of our most loyal customers Greg Blonder from our second New York Times feature. Greg is an accomplished inventor, scientist, entrepreneur and author, currently a visiting researcher at Boston University. He kindly sent us his brilliant take on this classic American dessert. His blog Genuine Ideas has many other recipes. We love his scientific approach to cooking, meticulous and playful in his pursuit of perfection. We hope you will give it a try and build on the concept

The "Tricky Dick" is named after Richard Nixon, who restored ties to China in 1972 and opened both nations to cross-cultural hybridization. The glaze’s floral, tingling notes grow with each bite. You can either fry up your own dough, or purchase a quality glazed donut and overcoat. Feel free to experiment- the glaze is perfect on Youtiao 油条 - the Chinese fried donut sticks, or ridged potato chips.


for the Glaze (serves 12)::

  • ¼ cup (60G) whole milk
  • 2 cups (240G) powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp (3g) table salt
  • 1 tbsp (5g) green/red Sichuan peppercorns
  • Red pepper flakes (preferably Aleppo) for decoration
  • optional- sprinkle on some freshly ground Sichuan peppercorns for added tingle
  • optional- red peppercorns and hot chili flakes amp up flavor, but mask floral notes
  • optional- add 2 tsp corn syrup for a softer glaze


  1. Grind up the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle. Look for a mixture of large and small pieces.
  2. Blend the peppercorns in milk and steep for at least 2 hours in fridge. Overnight is best. This helps extract the tingling “Ma” flavor.
  3. Heat the milk on low, and slowly whisk in the powdered sugar and salt until a glaze forms.
  4. Take the pot off the stove but keep warm by floating in a bowl of very hot water.
  5. Dip donuts in glaze, place on racks, and IMMEDIATELY sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Otherwise, the glaze will set and the flakes will not adhere.
  6. Enjoy!

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