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6 Sansho Pepper Substitutes: Spice Up the Recipes

Have you ever been halfway through a recipe and realized you’re out of sansho pepper? We’ve faced that culinary crisis. Even the most organized among us can find ourselves sans sansho pepper at the worst moment.

Thankfully, there are great substitutes that can save the dinner. Think bold flavors and a touch of that trademark zing. We’ve got your back with some easy swaps that will have your taste buds dancing.

So, what can we use instead? Let’s break it down.

6 Easy Substitutes for Sansho Peppers

For those who are unfamiliar with this spice, sansho pepper is a traditional Japanese seasoning made from the ground seeds of the prickly ash tree. It has a unique citrusy flavor and subtle heat that adds depth to dishes. If you don’t have it on hand, here are some substitutes that will still bring the heat:

SubstituteTasteTextureRatioSuitable Dish
Szechuan PepperNutty, slightly sweetCrisp1:1Stir-fries, noodles
Korean Chili FlakesSpicy, smokyCrisp1:1Korean dishes, soups
Thai Chili FlakesSpicy, slightly sweetCrisp1:1Thai dishes, curries
Cayenne PepperSpicyFine1/4 to 1/2Spicy dishes, sauces
Red Pepper FlakesSpicy, slightly sweetCrisp1:1Italian dishes, pasta
Black PepperSharp, slightly sweetFine1:1General use, sauces

1 – Szechuan Pepper

First, Szechuan Pepper might be from another part of Asia, but it has a super fun, spicy kick. We love how it’s got those zesty, tingly vibes. Swap it in for sansho pepper in a 1:1 ratio.

It’s a spice that dances on your tongue, making dishes pop without much effort. It’s perfect for those times when you want a little zing, but with less heat. Szechuan pepper has around 100 SHU, which is pretty mild.

If you’re curious about other options, check our article on Sichuan peppercorn substitutes. You’ll definitely find something that suits your spice level.

2 – Korean Chili Flakes

Next up, Korean Chili Flakes. These vibrant red flakes offer a mild spiciness perfect for a wide range of dishes. What we love about them is the balance of heat and flavor. It’s like a subtle kick that doesn’t overpower.

They work great in soups, stews, and marinades. The ratio is simple: use the same amount as you would sansho pepper. 1:1 ratio keeps it easy. We find it especially tasty in spicy Korean chicken wings.

So, the next time you’re out of sansho pepper, reach for Korean Chili Flakes. They’ll bring that beautiful hint of spice to your dish.

3 – Thai Chili Flakes

For those looking for a little heat, Thai Chili Flakes are fantastic. These tiny red flakes promise a fiery punch, perfect for spice lovers. Use them in a 1:1 ratio to replace sansho pepper.

We love adding them to stir-fries. They bring a rich, spicy kick. Stir a bit into soups for an extra zing.

For the best experience, try them in homemade pad thai. It’s all about that balance of heat and flavor. Adjust the amount to taste, and you’re good to go.

4- Cayenne Pepper

The fiery favorite! Cayenne pepper is here to turn up the heat. Bold and spicy, it’s got an SHU rating of 30,000 to 50,000. Got a hot dish to spice up? Cayenne’s your go-to.

Perfect for those who love a kick. We use it in a 1:1 ratio as a sansho pepper substitute. It’s great in sauces and soups.

We like a sprinkle of cayenne in our chili. Brings warmth and depth. Want more info on cayenne? Check out our cayenne pepper substitutes.

This versatile spice won’t disappoint.

5 – Red Pepper Flakes

Red! Every spice rack’s go-to hero, these flakes bring a balanced heat. We love their versatility. Pop them in soups, stews, and pizzas. Use them in a 1:1 ratio for sansho pepper. Perfect for spicing up your dish.

Their SHU level is around 30,000-50,000, similar to cayenne pepper. We find them easy to sprinkle onto anything. Stir them into tomato sauce or add them to pasta for a subtle kick.

Check out our article on red pepper flakes substitutes if you’re curious about more options. Perfect for quick, everyday cooking.

What’s next?

6 – Black Pepper

Last but oh-so-reliable, we have black pepper. This common spice is a pantry staple. It’s got a gentle heat compared to sansho pepper. Perfect for adding a subtle peppery punch to dishes.

Swap it in equal 1:1 amounts for sansho pepper. Sprinkle some on grilled veggies. Black pepper brings consistent flavor. Keep it simple yet effective.

We love it in creamy pasta. Its versatile nature makes it a go-to. Black pepper clocks in at around 100-500 SHU, making it quite mild.

Curious about more swaps for black pepper? Check out our black pepper substitutes article! It’ll keep your meals exciting and flavorful.