Sichuan peppercorns NOT from China

Where can I find Sichuan peppercorns that are NOT from China? Both dried or fresh would be good.

So far everything I found was from China, the “closest” was packed in Taiwan. But yeah, still Chinese origin.

Or is it possible to grow myself?


Why, if I might ask?


I’d be surprised if you can. There do seem to be some related species used in Japan/Korea/India etc., so maybe you could try searching for those on Shopee or something. I just checked mine (from Carrefour I think), and they come from China as well (unsurprisingly).

I don’t think it’s viable to grow them at home unless you have a lot of space and a couple of years to wait. It seems to be that you need to plant them in spring and they don’t start producing peppers for two or three years after they’ve become a big bush.

I think I read somewhere about some of the hotpot places etc. using synthetic compounds to mimic the numbing effect - no idea whether that’s also an issue with the packaged peppercorns. Maybe you could try looking for “organic” or “premium” ones and paying more to minimize the chances of that.

Why peppercorns? I’d love to cook some yummy Chinese dishes.

Why not from China? I try to avoid made in china as far as possible, especially for food.

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We have finally gotten good results in our development for taiwan grown chinese styled sichuan pepper.

It will take another couple years to scale up, but on the way.

As an aside, the reason you dont see it home grown in taiwan is due to price and labor costs.

Wholesale costs for imported sichuan pepper both with and without see is 150 to 700nt. Given that real product for food, not medicine, is just the skins withiut seed the logistics in price is amazingly poor.

Quick run down.

1 tree 3x3 meter spacing. Minimum

Total harvest dried after seed removal is about <500g/tree/year

Land price in taiwan

Growing takes 2 plus years, followed by a 1 year harvest cycle afterwards.

Being citrus, lots of insect issues and some fungal ones, organic iffy.

Thorny as all f*ck, labor hard to find…taiwan princesses wont do it.

So the actual cost to produce is about the retail value of chinese imports. Farmers will never touch this item and will only ever be produced by taiwanese.loyalists that can find their market. When you do see it available grown in taiwan, dont you dare complain about the price as this is one crop that cant be cheap…


I think peppercorns should be ok from China. Even the ones I get here in the UK are sourced from China.

Seriously, price is not the most important for me. Any chance to get some of your harvest?

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In all seriousness, this year everything was used for lab tests. Next will probably have nearly nothing as well as next we are scaling up and planting lots more. These sorts of projects are usually 5 to 10 years running before stores can stock it :wink: this is due to flowering habit and time frames of growing trees.

One tree has started flowering now though.


So… You (your company?) are actually planning on growing for sale? In a decade or half we might see your Sichuan pepper in the stores? Awesome!

I hope the demand will be high, and not just me hehe

What’s the idea behind this venture? Does market research show there is no non-chinese Sichuan pepper? In that case I could stop looking and simply wait for you ^^

If it’s not from Sichuan, wouldn’t it just be pepper?


From Wiki

Despite its name, Sichuan pepper is not closely related to either black pepper or chili pepper. It belongs to the global genus Zanthoxylum in the family Rutaceae, which includes citrus and rue.[4] Related species are used in the cuisines of several other countries across Asia.

Other countries have other names

Z. piperitum is harvested in Japan and Korea to produce sanshō (山椒) or chopi (초피), which has numbing properties similar to those of Chinese Sichuan peppercorns. [7] The Korean sancho (산초, 山椒) refers to a different but related species ( Z. schinifolium ), which is slightly less bitter than chopi .[8]

In Western India, one variant of Sichuan pepper known as teppal in Konkani or tirphal in Marathi (both words mean “three fruits/pods”) is harvested from Z. rhetsa .[9] Another variety, Z. armatum , is found throughout the Himalayas, from Kashmir to Bhutan, as well as in Taiwan, Nepal, China, Philippines, Malaysia, Japan, and Pakistan,[10] and is known by a variety of regional names including timur (टिमुर) in Nepali,[11] yer ma (གཡེར་མ) in Tibetan[12] and thingye in Bhutan.[13]

I highlighted the portion that relates to Taiwan as it seems there might be another variety in Taiwan under another name.

Yes, it will be sold through another company when ready. The demand is high and the point is mostly to have a non Chinese source available. As of now its almost all from china.

Probably 3 years from now should have volume. Land will be scouted for larger plant out early 2021. Taiwan has serious problems with long horn beetles with citrus, So time will tell how they become a problem as our projects are all organic and beetle larvae in wood is a particularly hard one to fix. I am wanting to experiment with fungus and bacteria but that research hasnt started yet.

As Mick mentions, sichuan pepper refers to many species of the genus Zanthoxylum. Many countries have their species, including taiwan. We grow the Taiwanese species as well, Japanese Prickly Ash, but has been far different flavor profile and isnt interchangeable with sichuan pepper. You can buy that one already, its quite good but very different. I just bought a bottle of booze flavored with it :slight_smile:

Couple pics of last year green fruit

Edit. This is the alcohol i just bought from a tourist shop. Havent tried it yet. Normlly not a fan of taiwanese strong alcohol, but a big fan of prickly ash… that said, never tried anything from this company, so mileage may vary.

Also, here are all the species in the genus of “sichuan pepper” in taiwan. Not all are used in food, and this site isnt that accurate as far as often they list species that arent well recorded as naturalized. I think it is mostly run by Kew and chinese inputs and as such many of the names arent what are actually used commonly in taiwan. But a good starting point for those interested :slight_smile:

The more popular Japanese Prickly Ash / 刺蔥 / Zanthoxylum ailanthoides


Just remembered this thread while looking through the product list of a company called Spice Chasm near Taitung - saw a brochure of theirs randomly a couple of months back in a restaurant there.

It seems they also have locally grown Sichuan peppercorns and can ship around Taiwan. :slight_smile:


Thank you! Sounds too good to be true, I’ll check and report back.

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Update better late then never: I didn’t hear back from the company (unless I overlooked a mail), and the web shops they link don’t seem to carry Sichuan Peppercorns. But lots of other interesting herbs and spices.

In the meanwhile I got a plant online and put it on our tiny balcony, let’s see how this goes:


Looking good!

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All you need now are some chilli peppers ‘not from Mexico’ and you are sorted :wink:


I have no beef with the Mexican form of government and don’t mistrust their quality and food safety (let alone labor standards - even though they are shit throughout most of teh world) as much as China’s. So I’d be happy to get Mexican Chilis. I do try to avoid Chinese ones.

But still, indeed, right next to that plant us also a small Chili plant, and this year’s harvest was surprisingly good

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Why? Mexico has great chili.