Homemade Peppercorn Salt | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Homemade Peppercorn Salt

Homemade Chinese Peppercorn-Salt

It is a common ingredients for making many popular Chinese dishes. Surprisingly, though, not many stores or supermarkets here have it on their shelves. Even I do locate a bottle, very likely there would be some flavor enhancers included.

I have little doubt why peppercorn salt, as a ready condiment, is less popular. True to it name, this flavored salt is made from only two common ingredients – Sichuan peppercorns and sea salt, not to mention that it is incredibly simple to prepare at home.

But, it is NOT only grinding and blending the two together. We need to process them in an un-oiled wok first (called ‘white wok’ 白鑊 in Chinese). Sounds familiar? Yes, it is one of the traditional Chinese ways of toasting spices or foods for bringing out their full flavors. Frying dried shrimp roes is one of them.

Sautéing Peppercorn Salt in White WokSautéing Peppercorn-Salt in White Wok

Peppercorn salt is suitable for use with different meats and seafoods, like pork, chicken, shrimp and squid, it also goes well with tofu, pan-fried or deep fried. Either one, simply stir in an appropriate amount of peppercorn salt, chili powder and sugar, and ready with you will be a dish of Peppercorn Salt Tofu 椒鹽豆腐. For deep-frying, coat tofu with batter or flour before frying.

Although the numbing taste of peppercorn salt can always be complemented by other spicy and sweet seasonings, I seldom add them ahead, allowing it to adapt to different dishes.

Peppercorn and Salt in Mortar
Peppercorn and Salt in Sieve

  • Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Or, peppercorns : salt = 1.5 : 1


Shake peppercorns in a sieve to let go dusts. Then, lay them flat and screen out twigs, thorns or blacken seeds, if any.

In a wok or skillet, sauté peppercorns and salt over low heat by turning them constantly until fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes. The salt shall look slightly brownish by then. Let cool.

With a pestle and mortar or an electric grinder, grind them into a powder.

Sift through a fine sieve; discard hulls.

Though peppercorn salt can be stored in an air-tight container, its aroma will fade overtime, so make only a moderate amount each time.

Just a Recent Dish with Peppercorn Salt
They were re-hydrated dried silver fishes, which were dusted with corn starch and fried. I added my peppercorn salt plus some chili powder toward the end of cooking.

Dried Sliver Fishes with Sichuan Peppercorns


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  1. anh@anhsfoodblog.com

    I made this mixture often as well. I like it a lot!

  2. Tastes of Home (Jen)

    This is very helpful! I know, the supermarkets don’t have it much here either (KL) there were more in the US hehe

  3. tigerfish

    With this, can really make a lot of 椒鹽 dishes 🙂

  4. kristy

    I’m glad to have found your site. You have a very beautiful & delicious blog and have bookmarked some of the recipes. Thank you so much for sharing it. Hope you’re enjoying your evening.
    Blessigns, Kristy

  5. TasteHongKong

    Welcome! And thanks for your kind words.
    Just feel free to look around and bookmark.

  6. Life for Beginners

    I’ve never heard of peppercorn salt though I have some sea salt at home infused with herbs from the Lake District in England. The real eye-opener is the concept of a “white wok” – what a revelation! I guess the wok we have at home is a rather well-oiled wok, would that make it a “black wok”, yes? 🙂

  7. mycookinghut

    Lovely! I think this peppercorn salt is definitely a great idea!

  8. Christy

    I’ve heard of this, but honestly, since I am no cook myself, I just take it as an ingredient in the food :p
    This is very insightful to see how it’s prepared and I am sure it is the usual suspect to add more taste to most of the Chinese dishes I have tried;) LOL, yeah, did I mention I don’t really cook?:)

  9. pigpigscorner

    Great info! Have to try making this!

  10. penny aka jeroxie

    I love this…. and always have a home made supply at home too

  11. Lori

    Oh, this is very nice! I’ve not seen anything like this on our shelves. Of course, Sichuan peppercorns are difficult to find here by themselves. I love the idea of this salt. I’ll have to give it a try.

  12. Lisa H.

    Have to try this…
    Peppercorns did numb my tongue, when I tried it on its own once (out of curiosity… and to have a feel of the effect of Szechuan peppercorn..)

  13. Juliana

    This is good to have handy…thank so you much for sharing this recipe. I always wonder how they make this salt. Hope you are having a great week 🙂

  14. Mei Teng

    I suppose one can use pepercorn salt for deep fried squid. That would be a great dish.

  15. lena

    hi maureen, it’s really nice that you’re sharing this recipe with us cos i dont think i’ve seen them anywhere here too. I’m sure this peppercorn salt has a more enhanced flavour than the ones in restaurant that cook this kind of dish !I think what they do is throw in the salt, pepper and some chilli and stir fry them with seafood.

  16. TasteHongKong

    Right, I like this especially when it is freshly made.