Black peppercorn is a major staple in homes throughout the world. In many Western cultures, black pepper sits alongside salt as a table condiment. Black peppercorn is completely unrelated to pepper fruits– members of the capsicum family such as cayenne, habanero and jalepeno. However, related “peppers” and similar-tasting plants can be ideal substitutes for black peppercorn if you happen to run out of black peppercorn in the middle of a recipe.
A good substitute for black peppercorn, white peppercorn offers a similar flavor. However, it is a bit more mild and delicate than its darker, bolder-tasting counterpart. To use white peppercorn as a substitute for black pepper, use about one and a third times as much pepper as the recipe calls for.
The seeds inside a papaya are ideal substitutes for black peppercorn. They are nearly identical to black peppercorns in color, taste, texture and appearance. Dry papaya seeds overnight to use them in lieu of black pepper. Save money by doing this every time you buy papayas; it salvages the seeds and eliminates the expense of black pepper.
Although pink peppercorn is not a true peppercorn, it has a delicate, slightly sweet flavor similar to white peppercorn. Use more pink peppercorn than the recipe calls for in black peppercorn; it is less bold and more is required to accomplish the same culinary effect. Note that large amounts of pink peppercorn can give white sauces a rosy undertone.
Coriander’s flavor is only slightly similar to black peppercorn, but it can work as a substitute for black pepper if you are in a pinch. It will alter your dish’s flavor somewhat, making the end product sweeter and less spicy. Simply grind the seeds as you would grind black peppercorn and use them directly in your recipe.