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Capers vs. Green Peppercorns

I have a recipe that calls for capers, but I bought green peppercorns by mistake. Can I use them as a substitute for the capers?

Answer »
Gator_cake

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

They don't really taste the same, but you could probably get away with the substitution if the recipe only calls for a small quantity. The green peppercorns are tangy & earthy, but have some bite to them. Taste one before using to make sure you think it would work.

Zester_003

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 2 years ago

Totally different creatures. Capers are flower buds either brined or packed in salt. Caper berries are larger but they get the same treatment (usually brined). Green peppercorns are not at all a good substitute. But then I don't know what you are cooking...

Sit2
Sam1148 added over 2 years ago

No, not at all. Green pepper corns are good in a cream sauce on a steak tho, so you can use them that way.
Depending on the recipe, some dill pickle cubes, or chopped olives could be used instead of capers.

Junechamp

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 2 years ago

Sam's suggestions are viable ones. I would not substitute green peppercorns for capers in anything.

Sit2
Sam1148 added over 2 years ago

I also need to add, you're not the only one that's made that mistake. I picked up green peppercorns when I was in a rush at the store and got home and WTF, didn't I read the dang label.

Gator_cake

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

Same with me! I bought some by mistake, they definitely have a different flavor than capers!

Sit2
Sam1148 added over 2 years ago

If submitter has never used green peppercorns before. Try them with a pan fried steak.
After cooking the steak and it's resting. Deglaze the pan with some white wine, cognac or brandy or stock. Add some chopped shallots if you have them. Add the green peppercorn and a bit of the brine, and some heavy cream. Let it reduce a bit and whisk in a tsp of good mustard off heat and use as a sauce on the steak.

Zester_003

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 2 years ago

I agree with Sam on the steak idea. Though you may want to crush those peppercorns first to unlock their flavor.

Nog
Niknud added over 2 years ago

You can get away with adding a little bit of the juice from a jar of brined olives to get a bit of that caper flavor if you're in a pinch - just make sure you're not using olives that have oil in the jar (like kalamata olives are traditionally packed) as capers are generally not packed with oil.

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