All questions

Are there any good substitutions for ground sumac?

I made fattoush last week, but had no sumac since my local grocery did not carry it and I had no time to go to a specialty grocery. Are there any decent substitutes for sumac?

asked by caroline_kuhn about 6 years ago

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

No need to email me as additional answers are added to this question.
13 answers 222511 views
cratecooking
cratecooking

Susan is a Recipe Tester for Food52

added about 6 years ago

I've heard Jamie Oliver, on his show Jamie at Home, suggest fresh lemon juice in place of ground sumac for his Grilled Lamb Kofta Kebabs.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

caroline_kuhn
added about 6 years ago

Thank you! I do love Jamie Oliver. I heard sumac simply lends a sour taste to the dish, so that makes perfect sense!

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

sdebrango
sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 6 years ago

If I am out of sumac I sometimes mix ground black pepper with lemon zest and you get a similar flavor. it is peppery and lemony sometimes I add just a dash of paprika to the mix also.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

Reiney
Reiney

Sarah is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 6 years ago

Aleppo pepper might also be a sub (though it's found next to the sumac, so if you can't access one, you probably can't access the other!)

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

Nancy
Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

FYI unintended side effect (minor in the great scheme of things) of the current Syrian war is a shortage of Aleppo pepper.

healthierkitchen
added over 3 years ago

most places had been selling Turkish "Aleppo" pepper for a while before too. You can get Maras in many middle eastern markets and it's almost the same taste.

Linda
added over 3 years ago

I use Coriander, it's really the citrus acidity your looking for and while Coriander is a bit more herbal it's got a similar lemony/citrus kick.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

Manuel
added about 3 years ago

I propose grinding dry hibiscus flower (known as Jamaica in México)
The first time I tasted Sumac i thought it was A milder variety of Jamaica.
I have to say that is just a thought that I never tried because not many recipes call for sumac.
I will try it as a topping on jasmine or basmanti rice. I love the persian rice (yellow an white) topped with Sumac at the only Persian restaurant I frequent

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

Picholine
added about 3 years ago

Zatar has sumac in it and for fattoush it would be perfect. I use lemon zest and oregano as a substitute for Zatar. I do not taste any heat in sumac or Zatar. Aleppo pepper is available at Penzeys as well as sumac and Zatar. I love to sprinkle Aleppo on my Italian pasta sauce for a very light heat kick.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

Nancy
Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added about 3 years ago

Agree with you about not tasting heat in sumac, rather a sour counterpoint.
Depending on the dish - and in addition to the ammchur, lemon juice & lemon zest already mentioned - consider sour cream, buttermilk, vinegar or tamarind paste.
Last, for similar texture and warmth (but not the sourness), consider a pinch of cinnamon along with the other substitutes.

DM
DM
added about 3 years ago

I just wanted to add that some people who have even very mild pollen allergy have a pretty strong allergic reaction to sumac. And obviously, many people do great with it. You might want to tell guests this, then at least if they start having a reaction, they'll know what's up.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

Linda Starr
added 12 months ago

(1) Lemon Zest: This is the most easily available ingredient that can be used as a sumac substitute. Mix some fresh lemon zest with salt and voila! You have an alternative ready. (2) Lemon Pepper Seasoning: This is easily available everywhere and is a very effective Sumac substitute.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)