Sichuan peppercorns are aromatic spices with a unique taste originating from the Chinese province of Sichuan. It comes from the dried seed pods of the thorny shrub. And is a common ingredient in many traditional Sichuan dishes and Chinese cuisine.
You can choose between red and green Sichuan peppercorns. They are both harvested from a different type of thorny shrub and have a different flavor. Green Sichuan peppercorns have a stronger citrus spice flavor, while red ones have a pine flavor.
However, they both leave a numbing feeling in your mouth, like when you drink a carbonated drink. You can find ground or whole Szechuan pepper in Asian stores.
Sichuan peppercorns are used in many meat dishes, noodle dishes, seafood, vegetables, stir-fries, and as an ingredient in Chinese five-spice powder, Sichuan pepper oil, and Chinese pepper salt. Sichuan.
If your recipe calls for Sichuan peppercorns, but you don’t have an Asian store near you, you can use other spices to substitute for this unique spice.
Good substitutes for Szechuan peppercorns include Tasmanian peppercorns, grains of paradise, tellicherry peppercorns, black pepper, and coriander seeds, or some of the following.
Let’s learn more about these substitutes and find the right one for your next recipe!
Best Sichuan Pepper Substitutes
It’s hard to find spices that taste like Sichuan peppercorns. However, you can try the following spices to recreate the taste of Szechuan pepper in your recipes.
1. Tasmanian pepper
Tasmanian pepper is a spice made from the berries of a shrub that grows in Australia. They have a black color and a sweet-fruity and spicy taste similar to the taste of fennel and juniper.
Tasmanian pepper works well in curries, stews, soups, sauces, dressings, marinades, alcoholic beverages, and cheese.
They don’t give your dish the same taste as Sichuan peppercorns, but you do get a nice spicy, woody, and fruity taste.
You can substitute Sichuan peppercorns with Tasmanian peppercorns in a 1:1 ratio.
2. Grains of Paradise
Grains of Paradise are small red-brown seeds of a plant native to West Africa with a specific spicy, spicy, lemony, woody and refreshing taste that lingers in the mouth like a tender flame.
Grains of paradise work well with other herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and sage, which enhance flavor when used together. You can add grains of paradise to salad dressings, sauces, curries, seafood and roasted vegetables.
You can use grains of paradise in your dishes as a substitute for Sichuan peppercorns in a 2:1 ratio.
3. Tellicherry pepper
These peppercorns are one of the most famous peppercorns grown in Tellicherry, a city in India. They are black and larger than regular peppercorns.
With a complex flavor that can be explained as fresh, clear, sweet, fruity and herbaceous with hints of pine and citrus. Tellicherry peppercorns work well in many sauces, meats, seafood, vegetables, soups and stews.
Replace Sichuan peppercorns with Tellicherry peppercorns in a 1:1 ratio.
4. Black pepper and coriander seeds
Black pepper and coriander seeds are also among the spices that can provide a small portion of the flavor that Szechuan pepper brings to dishes.
You get a pine and citrus flavor that brightens up your dish and gives it a spicy note. However, you will not experience the numbing sensation that Sichuan peppercorns are known for.
5. Season with lemon pepper
Lemon-pepper seasoning consists of cracked black pepper and granulated lemon zest. However, other ingredients can also be added, such as garlic powder, onion powder, salt, sugar, cayenne pepper, celery seed, and citric acid.
You can buy this seasoning or make it at home and add whatever ingredients you like.
Lemon Pepper Spice adds a lovely citrusy, spicy flavor to many different dishes such as roasted vegetables, seafood, poultry, steaks, pastas, soups, sauces, marinades, dressings and salads.
Replace Sichuan peppercorns with lemon peppercorn spice in a 1:1 ratio.
6. Sansho Powder
Sansho powder is a green-brown spice made from ground berries of the Japanese pepper tree. It has a tangy, spicy flavor with a hint of citrus and leaves a numbing feeling in the mouth, much like Sichuan peppercorns.
You can use Sansho powder in various dishes such as soups, stir-fries, vegetables, marinades, Japanese noodle dishes, sushi, grilled meats and grilled fish.
This powder is also an ingredient in the Seven Spice Blend. You can use this powder in a 1:1 ratio as a substitute for Sichuan peppercorns.
7. Ground black pepper, ground coriander seeds and lemon zest
If your recipe calls for Sichuan pepper, but you only have black pepper, coriander seeds and lemons, you can use them to enhance the flavor of your dish.
Simply mix together ground black pepper and ground coriander seeds and add some lemon zest. You can use this spice blend in your dishes as a substitute for Sichuan peppercorns in a 1:1 ratio.
8. Sichuan Pepper Oil
Sichuan pepper oil is another great alternative to Sichuan peppercorns. You can buy it in Chinese supermarkets or make it at home if you have Sichuan pepper and canola or peanut oil.
This oil is a good addition to stews, sauces, stir-fries, salad dressings, grilled vegetables, grilled meats and seafood. Use a few drops at first and add more as needed.
9. Sichuan Pepper Salt
You can use Sichuan peppercorns as a spicy alternative to the common salt you use in recipes.
You can buy it or make it homemade with 4 tbsp sea or kosher salt and 2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns. Or you can adjust the ratio to your liking.
It is a very tasty condiment for various soups, stews, risotto, steak, vegetables, poultry, salads, seafood, noodles and many other dishes.
If you are using Sichuan peppercorns as a substitute for Sichuan peppercorns, reduce the amount of regular salt in your dish.
10. Japanese Seven Spice Seasoning
Japanese Seven Spice Seasoning or Shichimi togarashi is made with Sichuan peppercorns or sansho, black sesame seeds, ground ginger, white sesame seeds, red chili peppers, dried orange peel and seaweed (nori).
There are also other variations of these seasonings which consist of different ingredients. You can add this seasoning to soups, marinades, salad dressings, vegetables, grilled meats, noodles, rice, seafood and poultry.
Use it in a 1:1 ratio as a substitute for Sichuan peppercorns.
Are Sichuan and Szechuan the same?
They are the same, just pronounced differently.
Sichuan is a Chinese province whose ancient name was Szechuan before Chinese post-Romanization when Chinese places were given new transcribed names.
Sichuan cuisine is one of the most famous Chinese cuisines, originating in Sichuan province.
Is pink pepper the same as Sichuan?
Pink peppercorns are not the same as Sichuan peppercorns. They came from a plant native to South America known as pink berry or pink berry. Pink peppercorns are dried berries with a floral, slightly sweet and peppery flavor similar to the flavor of juniper berries, but stronger.
You can use them in many salad dressings, sauces, seafood, poultry, and as an ingredient in peppercorn blends.
Sichuan pepper, on the other hand, is a Chinese spice with a spicy, lemony taste that leaves a numbing feeling in your mouth. You can use it in various meat dishes, vegetables, noodle dishes, stir-fries, and as an ingredient in Japanese Seven Spice Seasoning.
Sichuan pepper is an indispensable spice in your kitchen as it adds delicious flavor to food. But if you don’t have it, you can use some of these herbs as a substitute.
Some of them give a taste very similar to the taste of Sichuan peppercorns, while the other gives only a small hint of taste. Either way, your dish will taste better and taste different.