Sichuan peppercorns (also known as Szechuan peppercorns or Chinese peppercorns) are an aromatic spice from the Sichuan region of China. Although they’re called pepper, they have citrus notes and are not spicy or pungent like chili pepper and black peppercorns (although they do leave a tingly feeling in your mouth).
Just the husks of the Chinese peppercorns are used. The seeds inside are bitter, so just the husks are used for cooking.
Sichuan peppercorns are often toasted and crushed before culinary use. Sichuan pepper is often used in hot sauces, spice blends, soups, meat dishes, and baked goods. It pairs well with star anise and ginger.
Recipes with Sichuan Peppercorn
Sichuan peppercorns can be used in a variety of ways. They’re often used in Szechuan Chinese cooking, Nepalese cooking, and Tibetan cooking. Here are some of our favorite dishes with these delicious peppercorns.
- Five Spice Banana Bread
- Chicken Stir Fry with Sichuan Peppercorns
- Dan Dan Noodles Recipe
- Dumplings with Sichuan Peppercorns
Sichuan peppercorns vs. Szechuan peppercorns vs. Chinese peppercorns
What’s the difference between Sichuan peppercorns, Szechuan peppercorns, and Chinese peppercorns? Szechuan cuisine is a type of cuisine from Sichuan province. As far as the peppercorns go, they’re all names for the same thing.
Where to Buy Sichuan Peppercorns
Sichuan peppercorns are available in most Asian grocery stores and from several online vendors. When buying spices, it’s important to make sure you are buying from distributers that sell high-quality spices.
We get our Sichuan peppercorns from The Spice House.
Substitute for Sichuan Peppercorns
If you can’t find Sichuan peppercorns, you make an equal parts blend of freshly ground black pepper, ground coriander, and lemon zest.
More Spices & Spice Guides
Love spices? Check out some of our other favorite spices and guides.