10 Szechuan Peppercorn Substitutes That Will Impress The Chinese

Szechuan peppercorns are tasty and fragrant spices from the same-named Chinese province (SAURABH, n.d.). It is derived from a prickly bush with dried pods. Because of their origin, it is common to see this spice in Chinese recipes.

They are often served with hot peppers. They have a lovely citrus flavor and a little pine scent. They are not, in fact, peppers, but are often mistaken for them. If you do not live near a Chinese community, it may not be readily accessible, but here are some appropriate options to consider.

  1. Tasmanian Pepper
  2. Grains of Paradise
  3. Japanese seven-spice seasoning
  4. Tellicherry pepper
  5. Black Pepper
  6. Black pepper and coriander seeds
  7. Lemon pepper seasoning

Before we go into the numerous alternatives’ potential, let us first learn a little more about this beloved Chinese spice.

10 Best Substitute For Szechuan Peppercorn 

Szechuan Peppercorn comes in both red and green types. The distinction is not limited to color. They do come in a variety of tastes. These two varieties are even derived from separate bushes.

The green ones have a more powerful taste with a citrus and herb tinge, which is somewhat anticipated given their hue. The red type, on the other hand, has a pine-like flavor.

Whatever you select, you will have a numbing sensation in your tongue, particularly if you follow your meal with a fizzy beverage. This spice is available in whole and ground forms at Asian markets.

Tasmanian pepper is the greatest alternative for Szechuan peppercorns. The taste profiles of the two spices are similar enough that a 1:1 replacement ratio may be used.

Some may claim that Tellicherry peppercorns and Grains of Paradise are the finest replacements. You may wish to look at these three before going on to other options.

Tasmanian Pepper


Tasmanian peppers, according to experts, are the finest alternatives for Szechuan peppercorns. They are both not members of the Piper nigrum genus.

Tasmanian fever has the scent of Szechuan peppercorns but the taste of fennel and juniper. The woodsy and floral flavors are similar to the lavender and pine flavors found in Szechuan pepper.

Some refer to it as the Tasmanian equivalent of peppercorns. This potential replacement is a common addition to Australian bush meals.

A 1:1 replacement ratio is suggested since it is considered the best substitute.

Grains of Paradise

Like Szechuan peppercorns, these small reddish-brown West African seeds have a woody and herbal flavor. Unlike our primary spice, they have a zesty flavor and a chilly flavor that numbs your lips.

Nonetheless, grains of heaven will remain in your mouth. It pairs nicely with rosemary and thyme, which provide taste.

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Japanese Seven Spice seasoning


Another name for this substitute is Shichimi togarashi. It is made up of either sansho or Szechuan peppercorns. It is mixed with ground ginger, black and white sesame seeds, dried orange peel, red chili peppers, and seaweed.

Tellicherry pepper

Shichimi togarashi is another name for this replacement. It contains either sansho or Szechuan peppers. It has ground ginger, black and white sesame seeds, dried orange peel, red chili peppers, and seaweed in it.

This appellation is now used to peppers that have been on the vine for a longer period of time than black peppers. They are not have to be from India.

Tellicherry peppers have herbal and citrus flavors. As a result, they are suitable as Szechuan pepper alternatives.

Black Pepper


Sometimes you just do not have what you need. As a result, you may use black pepper on its own. It may give you some spicy heat.

The taste profile, on the other hand, lacks the richness of Szechuan peppercorn and the other replacements on this list.

Black pepper and coriander seeds

These spices will give you a hint of Szechuan pepper taste. It has a citrus and pine taste in addition to the spiciness. This substitute is suggested for people who are sensitive to the numbing effects of Szechuan peppercorns. It is comparatively mild.

Lemon pepper seasoning


This spice consists of granular cracked black pepper with lemon zest. Some versions may include cayenne pepper, garlic powder, citric acid, celery seeds, salt, and sugar.

Again, it is one of those replacements that may be purchased or made at home. It has spicy and citrus tastes. Because you may use a 1:1 ratio, using lemon pepper spice as a replacement is simple.

Sansho powder

Sansho powder is a greenish-brown spice made from powdered berries of Japanese pepper shrub. As predicted, it is hot with a citrus taste. It, like Szechuan peppers, may make your mouth numb.

This powder is often used in Japanese meals including noodles, sushi, grilled fish, and so forth. It may be used in place of Szechuan peppercorn at a 1:1 ratio.

Szechuan peppercorn oil


The oil version also works well in place of Szechuan peppercorns. The oil is available at Chinese grocery shops. You could also create your own using Szechuan peppercorns, canola oil, and peanut oil.

Canola oil may also be substituted. That implies you haven’t ran out of the spicy component. However, if you want to make things simpler on yourself afterwards, it may be an excellent substitute. Focus on using a few drops first.

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Szechuan peppercorn salt

If you want a spicier alternative to regular salt, try Szechuan peppercorn salt. You may purchase it ready-made or make your own. It is made up of 2 teaspoons Szechuan peppercorns and 4 tablespoons kosher or sea salt.

The end product is really tasty and may be used in a variety of meals. If you want to use Szechuan peppercorn salt, remember to minimize the amount of ordinary salt you may still add to your meal.

When Do You Need a Substitute for Schezuan Peppercorn?

You ran out of it

The most apparent reason you need a replacement is because the original component has run out. You might be in the midst of preparing something and crave something that is already in your cupboard.

You don’t have access to a Chinese grocery store

Schezuan peppercorns may not be available at your local grocery store. You may believe that you may get the substance rapidly, but this is not the case. So, if you can’t wait for your chosen online store to arrive, you may have to settle with an alternative.

You want a different flavor profile

You can get a comparable hot replacement, but the pine-like red Schezuan can add a little diversity from the citrusy green Schezuan.

You don’t want your mouth to get numb when eating

Some of the replacements are spicy enough to numb your mouth, but not as much as Szechuan peppercorn. If you’d like keep things a little milder than normal, you may choose for an alternative.

Szechuan Peppercorn Substitute Related FAQs

Where do you buy high-quality Schezuan peppercorns?

As previously said, locating Schezuan peppercorns is more difficult than it seems.

The ones available in the United States are of inferior quality. This predicament may have resulted from the USDA’s embargo of Chinese citrus in 1967. It was designed to keep citrus canker disease, a bacterial illness, at bay.

The restriction was repealed in 2005, but exporters must heat treat the peppercorns to eradicate possible germs. As a result, many of the better ones can be purchased online. To prevent running out of supplies, you must order them ahead of time.

How do you store them?

Some may believe that since Szechuan peppercorns are dried, there is no need to store them. However, like with any food item, it is advisable to preserve them to ensure they do not lose their flavor and efficacy too fast.

Keep your peppers in the refrigerator. Better still, put them in the freezer.

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How do you know your Szechuan peppercorns have gone stale?

If your peppercorns are not properly preserved, they will grow stale rapidly. Take a whiff at them. If you don’t receive a zesty aroma, you may not get the same powerful flavor. You could even have to throw it away.

The lemony aroma of this spice is so strong that there is something wrong if you don’t catch a whiff.

What are Szechuan peppercorn benefits?

So, is there a case to be made for preserving Szechuan peppercorn as the genuine ingredient?

There are, indeed. Here are some advantages of using them as spices:

  • They can help you with your appetite.
  • They can reduce pain and inflammation.
  • They can stimulate your circulation.
  • They may give you an immunity boost.
  • They may improve your vision.

The majority of the advantages listed above are self-explanatory. The spicy taste may help you eat more as you add other food items to somehow kill the burn. It may activate your taste buds on its own. Of course, this advantage is geared for individuals who struggle to find the motivation to eat.

How do you prepare Szechuan peppercorns?

The majority of the advantages listed above are self-explanatory. The spicy flavor may encourage you to eat more since you may mask the burn with other foods. It may activate your taste buds on its own. Of course, this advantage is geared for individuals who struggle to find the motivation to eat.

Toasting it needs using a dry skillet over medium heat. Stir for about a minute, or until you can smell the scent. Before grinding and using the toasted peppercorns in your recipes, allow them to cool.

What occurs next is determined on the purpose of the peppercorns. To make a meat rub, combine the roasted peppercorns with ground black pepper and coarse salt. If you need it for a sandwich spread, combine it with mayonnaise.

It is quite adaptable and may be combined with the different components required for the preparation.

What is the difference between black pepper and Szechuan peppercorn?

Szechuan peppercorn has a hotter taste profile and a more complex flavor character. On the other hand, black peppercorn is widely available and mostly used to produce heat.

What’s the difference between Sichuan and Szechuan?

You will come across both spellings when researching the spice. Szechuan is an east coast spelling, while Sichuan is a western spelling.

Are Szechuan peppercorns the same as red peppercorns?

Red and green Szechuan peppercorns are available. When the green types ripen, they do not become red. They are not the same as the red ones.


What is a good substitute for Szechuan peppercorns?

If you don’t have Sichuan peppercorn, you may use freshly ground black pepper and coriander seeds. If you have Tellicherry peppercorn on hand, it might be an excellent replacement. It is a kind of black pepper that has been allowed to mature for a longer period of time in order to acquire greater taste and scent.

What is the Chinese numbing spice?

Sichuan peppercorns cause paraesthesia, which causes the lips and tongue to vibrate and become vaguely numb – a sensation known as má.

What is a substitute for dried Sichuan chili?

Substitute. Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru) alternatively add ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 2½ teaspoons of ancho chile powder per tablespoon of Sichuan chili powder.

What is the difference between Szechuan and Sichuan pepper?

Sichuan pepper (Chinese: ; pinyin: hujio; Nepali: ; romanized: timur), also known as Szechuan pepper, Szechwan pepper, Chinese prickly ash, Chinese pepper, Mountain pepper, and mala pepper, is a spice used in Sichuan cuisine in China and Nepal.

How many types of Sichuan peppercorns are there?

There are two main kinds of Sichuan peppercorns: red peppercorns, which showcase an earthy depth, and green peppercorns, which are rarer and more floral.

What is Sichuan peppercorn in Mandarin?

(Hu Jio) is the Chinese name for Sichuan pepper. It literally means “flower pepper,” since when mature, the red husks that contain the black seeds within “bloom” like a flower.

What spice hits the front of your tongue?

Black pepper – strikes you on the tongue’s tip White pepper – on your mouth’s roof Red pepper – burns your throat.

Which Chinese five spice has numbing effect?

Sichuan pepper (Hu Jio, also known as Szechuan pepper or Chinese pepper) is one of the most significant spices in Chinese cooking. It has a strong perfume and gives you a distinct numbing feeling in your mouth.

What Chinese pepper makes your mouth numb?

If you have the foresight to overlook the burning hot agony that fills your mouth when eating Szechuan peppers, you may notice a more subtle effect: a tingling, numbing feeling that envelops your lips and tongue.

What are the two signature spices of Sichuan cuisine?

Hot and spicy are two characteristics of Sichuan cuisine.

The wide bean paste is recognized as the soul of Chuan foods, while the hot pepper and Sichuan pepper are its soul.

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