4 Best Sichuan Peppercorns Substitutes

Are you looking for potential replacements for Sichuan peppercorn? It might look hard to find the right ingredient with a hot and tangy taste at the same time.

Sichuan peppercorn offers some heat and citrusy taste in many dishes that you use it in; it has this lavender taste. It is a great spice in Sichuan cuisine. Although it has all these qualities, it is not the same as black or chili pepper.

So, since it is not the same with these peppers, it may seem hard to find the perfect substitute for them. However, there are great Sichuan peppercorns substitutes. So, sit still and let us reveal these substitutes right away.


What are Sichuan peppercorns?

People also refer to Sichuan peppercorns as 5Szechuan pepper, Szechuan pepper, Chinese pepper, timut pepper, or mala pepper. Sichuan peppercorns are nothing like the name peppercorns. However, a great condiment is produced from the husks of seeds.

Sichuan peppercorns come in red and green. However, the red Sichuan peppercorns are mostly used for spice.

The red Sichuan peppercorns possess reddish-pink berries; they are prickly ash-free with small, dark seeds and a bright citrusy aroma. People use mainly the pinkish-red husks around the Sichuan peppercorns seeds that make up the peppercorn.

Sichuan peppercorn has a relatively complex flavor; it has some heat, tangy and bitter flavor. No wonder before chilies were brought to China, Sichuan peppercorn and ginger was used to give some amount of heat to dishes.

If you are looking for Sichuan peppercorn substitutes, then you may be looking forward to achieving this in your recipe. You know, having some heat, zest, and slightly bitter and sweet taste at the same time.

Read on to find out the Sichuan peppercorns substitutes

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4 Best Sichuan peppercorns substitutes

When it is time to replace Sichuan peppercorns in recipes, a few ingredients are great replacements.

1. Tellicherry peppercorns

tellicherry peppercorns

Tellicherry peppercorns come from some vine. The pepper fruit is picked from the vine and allowed to shrivel and dry. Tellicherry peppercorns are left to mature and then develop some rich flavor and zest before it is picked from the vine.

Since you would need Sichuan peppercorns to add some peppery and tangy flavor to your recipes and do not have Sichuan pepper to do justice to that, use Tellicherry peppercorns to achieve this consistency.

2. Black pepper

black pepper

1 tablespoon of black peppercorns, whole 1 tablespoon coriander seeds

Sometimes one ingredient cannot give you the desired result. Black pepper alone cannot give you a bit of tangy and heat at the same time. So, for the best result, grind black peppercorns and coriander seeds and add them to your recipe.

More so, depending on the size of your recipe, the proportion could vary. Add more if you are making a meal for a whole family, add more if you are cooking in a restaurant. Add less if your household does not welcome the mix, add less of this spice if your recipe is relatively small.

3. Ground black pepper, coriander seed, and lemon zest

ground black pepper, coriander seed, and lemon zest

Whether you grind them together or not, you can get almost the same result by using these ingredients instead of Sichuan peppercorns.

So, get a small bowl, combine black peppercorn and coriander seeds, and ground in a small bowl. Combine ground black pepper, coriander seed powder, and lemon zest.

Use as directed in your recipe or store in the fridge for up to 1 week for later use. You can also use any other black peppercorn to achieve this result.

It is not always easy replacing spices in the kitchen but you can replace them with almost similar flavors and if it seems you cannot get a rewarding result, then add some other spices that would elevate the taste and impact of the spice in the mean you use it in.

4. Homemade Sichuan peppercorns

homemade sichuan peppercorns

The best way to replace Sichuan peppercorns is to have the ingredients that makeup Sichuan peppercorns at home.

We recommend you keep this ingredient, as it is easy to fill up your jar of spice anytime you run short of the spice.

More so, you are sure that by making it yourself; you are aware of the ingredients in it, and the potency of the spice is not altered.

So, get the red Sichuan peppercorn and coriander seeds with some lime or lemon, and then grinds them all together. In a moment, your spice should be done and ready for use!

Read: 6 Best Substitutes for Chaat masala

Frequently asked questions

Are Sichuan peppercorns and black pepper the same?

No, Sichuan peppercorns and black pepper are not the same. Sichuan pepper is made from the husks around the red peppercorns seed.

However, black pepper is mainly gotten from the vine. Black pepper is ground into powder or flakes. Either way, many people are fond of this pepper, so black pepper has its fair share in many kitchens.

Can you use Sichuan peppercorns and black pepper at the same time?

Just because Sichuan peppercorns and black pepper are not the same does not mean you cannot use them together. If you are running short of Sichuan peppercorn, you can add some black pepper to meet up with the heat you want in your recipes.

So, you do not have to quit your recipe in the middle of it all just to get Sichuan peppercorns. If you are looking forward to trying this out, you can today.

Can you use chili pepper instead of Sichuan peppercorns?

Chili pepper has found its way into many cuisines and many people use it to add some heat to their recipes. Chili pepper and Sichuan peppercorns are not the same. However, if you have it on your spice rack and cannot risk not making your recipe, then use chili pepper.

Chili pepper would add more heat to your recipe, and if you want to get some citrusy aroma, then add some lime or lemon to it.

Read: How To Neutralize Sweetness In Sauce (8 Quick Fixes)


It seems tasky finding Sichuan peppercorns substitutes, especially since other spicy ingredients do not complement it. However, you can replace your Sichuan peppercorns with a few ingredients.

You can decide to have the important ingredients you use in making Sichuan peppercorn in your home so it becomes easier to make it yourself. This way you save yourself some hassles.

Now, that you know the possible alternatives for Sichuan peppercorns, go make your favorite dish!