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?

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
  • 51020 views
  • 10 Comments

10 Comments

paizley January 29, 2018
I use pickled green peppercorns in place of capers frequently. I like the bite they provide. It really depends on what I'm making. The green peppercorns go great with smoked salmon and certain fish dishes. Great with steaks and lamb. Even good in a baked potato. I like to eat them right out of the jar!
 
Niknud September 8, 2011
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.
 
pierino September 7, 2011
I agree with Sam on the steak idea. Though you may want to crush those peppercorns first to unlock their flavor.
 
Sam1148 September 7, 2011
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.
 
hardlikearmour September 7, 2011
Same with me! I bought some by mistake, they definitely have a different flavor than capers!
 
Sam1148 September 7, 2011
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.
 
ChefJune September 7, 2011
Sam's suggestions are viable ones. I would not substitute green peppercorns for capers in anything.
 
Sam1148 September 7, 2011
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.
 
pierino September 7, 2011
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...
 
hardlikearmour September 7, 2011
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.
 
Recommended by Food52