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5 Sichuan Peppercorn Substitutes: Kick Up Taste

Sichuan peppercorns are magical little pods of numbing spice. Finding a substitute that nails that unique flavor is tricky.

We’ve experimented a ton with different alternatives. Some worked, others? Not so much.

Like that time we tried using regular black pepper instead. Spoiler: it didn’t work at all.

We learned the hard way so you don’t have to. Here’s our list of the best substitutes that actually deliver on taste.

Whether you’re cooking up a storm or just trying something new, these picks will do the trick. Let’s get started.

5 Easy Substitutes for Sichuan Peppercorns

While nothing quite replicates the numbing spice of Sichuan peppercorns, there are a few substitutes that come close in flavor and can be easily found at your local grocery store or online. Here are our top picks:

1 – Black Peppercorns

Black peppercorns are the closest in flavor to Sichuan peppercorns. They bring that lovely peppery warmth. We’ve used them countless times in stir-fries. They’re more pungent and less numbing.

Crush them for the best result. Use slightly more than you would Sichuan peppercorns. Try a 1:1 ratio to start. Adjust to your taste.

We often include black pepper in our marinades. It’s readily available and adds a nice kick. Despite not being numbing, they’re versatile.

Need more black pepper alternatives? Check out black pepper substitutes for more ideas.

2 – Pink Peppercorns

Pink peppercorns are tiny, reddish berries from a different plant than black peppercorns. They bring a sweet, mild heat to dishes. We use them when we want a more delicate spice. They look great, too.

They work best in light, fresh recipes. For meat dishes, we use them in marinades. They pair well with chicken and fish.

For stir-fries, use them at a 2:1 ratio to Sichuan peppercorns. Crush them for better flavor release. Pink peppercorns offer a fun twist.

Want more pepper options? Check out our pink peppercorn substitutes.

3 – White Peppercorns

White peppercorns are known for their earthy and milder heat. We often find them perfect in creamy dishes like soups and sauces.

Crush them for best results. Use a 1:1 ratio substituting for Sichuan peppercorns. The flavor is less intense but more nuanced.

We love adding a sprinkling on mashed potatoes. Unlike black peppercorns, they blend in visually, offering a subtle flavor without the specks.

Want more pepper options? Check out our white pepper substitutes.

4 – Black Peppercorns with Coriander Seeds

Black peppercorns combined with coriander seeds offer a great mix for replacing Sichuan peppercorns. The warmth of black pepper and the citrusy hint of coriander work well together.

Crush them for best flavour. Use a 1:1 mix. It’s balanced and versatile. We love it in stir-fries and marinades.

They bring a mild but noticeable spice. You’ll taste the difference. The coriander adds a fresh twist.

For more options, check our coriander seeds substitutes. They’re readily available and easy to use. Perfect for vibrant dishes.

5 – Grains of Paradise

Grains of paradise deliver a kick with their peppery warmth and hints of citrus. They’re more intense than black peppercorns. We use them in a 1:1 ratio for Sichuan substitutes. Crush them for best results.

We love their complexity. They fit well in meat rubs and vegetable stir-fries. The extra zing adds character. They’re fantastic for spicing up stews.

Give them a go if you’re looking for something fresh. We found them trendy in new-age recipes too. Interested? Check our grains of paradise substitutes for more insights.