The 5 Greatest Peppercorn Substitutes

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Several recipes call for peppercorns as a spice or as an ingredient.

The most popular peppercorn is black pepper, which is often used in cuisine.

In terms of taste, it is stronger and more complex than the majority of other spices.

It also gives many foods a kick (heat).

Peppercorns are available whole or crushed.

Although fresh peppercorns are ideal, they might be difficult to acquire outside of vegetable areas in supermarkets.

In this essay, we will look at the finest peppercorn replacements.

What exactly are peppercorns?

Peppercorns are the dried fruit of a South and Southeast Asian vine.

Peppercorns are derived from the same plant as black pepper, which is one of the most extensively used spices in Western cuisine.

White peppercorns are the least savory, green peppercorns are less mature and spicier, and black peppercorns are more tasty and fragrant.

They are green, reddish-purple, brown, and black in hue.

Each of these hues corresponds to various stages of ripeness and degrees of taste strength.

When purchased whole, peppercorns should be kept in a firmly sealed glass jar in a cold, dark area.

Ground pepper has a longer shelf life and may be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months or frozen for up to a year.

The 5 Greatest Peppercorn Substitutes

For those wishing to substitute peppercorns in a recipe, there are several options.

While these items might not have the same flavor strength, they will contribute a distinct flavor to a meal.

1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

Chinese five-spice powder is a spice blend popular in China.

Anise seed, Sichuan peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, and fennel seeds are among the tastes.

It’s worth noting that some producers substitute ginger or star anise for the more traditional components.

This may be used in a variety of recipes, although it is most often seen in stir-fry.

It’s also used to season chicken, duck, and pig.

Despite it lacks the spice of peppercorns, it offers a variety of unique tastes to foods such as meatballs or barbecue sauce.

2 tsp. black pepper

Ground pepper is the most often used substitute for peppercorns.

When added to any meal, it adds an additional kick and is quite affordable.

As a result, several various brands are available in local grocery shops.

Ground pepper has a far longer shelf life than whole peppercorns and may be stored in the pantry.

Any recipes that call for peppercorns may benefit from the addition of ground pepper.

It is crucial to remember, however, that it will not taste exactly like peppercorns, particularly because some products are combined with other spices.

three pink peppercorns

Pink peppercorns have the appearance of little cherry tomatoes and may provide a pleasant taste to meals.

These peppercorns have nothing to do with the pepper plant.

Instead, they are a member of the cashew family and are cultivated in nations such as Brazil, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Australia, North America, Hawaii, South Africa, Mexico, and others.

Pink peppercorns grow on the plant Schinus terebinthifolius.

This fruit will be harvested when it ripens and dried for six months.

Pink peppercorns, although preferred by some, do not have the same intense taste.

They do, however, provide a spicy and sour taste.

4 peppercorns from Sichuan

Sichuan peppercorns are blossom buds from the Zanthoxylum piperitum tree.

This plant, which is related to the pepper plant, features prickly leaves, bark, and seeds.

It also includes an oil that has a numbing effect on the tongue.

This is related to black pepper, although it is not derived from the same plant.

Moreover, Sichuan peppercorns have a clove-like scent and may be used in meat recipes such as jerky or steak.

It is also becoming more popular in Asian cuisine.

Its taste is distinct and may be better suited to stir-fry recipes.

It will offer an intriguing kick to any meal, regardless of the spice level.

5 capsicums

Capers are the flower buds of the plant Capparis spinosa.

This plant is linked to the gooseberry family, which includes the caper bush.

They are normally collected in the spring or summer, although they are available all year.

Capers may then be pickled, salted, marinated, or dried to keep them fresh.

Capers are typically seen in Mediterranean cuisine, although they may also be found in salads, spaghetti, and pizza.

They are not only delicious, but they may also provide health advantages such as antioxidants.

While capers are not the same as peppercorns, it is crucial to remember that the flavors will change somewhat.

This little shift in taste, on the other hand, may be a welcome complement to many foods.


Peppercorns are a vital element in many cuisines, but there are various substitutes.

Black or white peppercorns may be substituted with anise seeds, Szechuan peppercorns, pink peppercorns, crushed pepper, and capers.

It is vital to realize that each substitution will have a slightly distinct flavor, however the majority of these substitutes are regularly used in recipes.

At the very least, with all of these possibilities, you’ll never run out of peppercorns.

If you’re seeking for additional options, read our post on black pepper replacements.

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