So I am trying to learn different recipes. One I'd like to do soon is the steak au poivre, it's a quite simple one but all the recipes I found say you need green pepper (peppercorn, not bell) and I can't find it in the local market.

I'd like to know what other kind(s) of pepper would be a good alternative (here I can find easily black, white and pink pepper), or if any of them would. I have never tasted green pepper so I don't really know what to expect from it. The dish should look like this:

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  • Thanks, I tried to use the peppercorn tag but I couldn't do it before – Arthur Leal Mar 30 '15 at 16:26
  • recipes for pepper steak with black peppercorns are easy to find. Since you don't know what green peppercorns taste like and can't find them, I suggest just changing recipes to one that uses black peppercorns. – Kate Gregory Mar 30 '15 at 16:39

Technically, green peppercorns are from the same plant as black or white peppercorns. Green peppercorns are unripe black peppercorns, and white peppercorns are black peppercorns with the outer coat removed.

Green peppercorns are true peppercorns of the Piper nigrium flowering vine plant.... Green peppercorns are really unripe black peppercorns. These are often preserved in brine or vinegar and served in pickled form. In dried form, they don't last very long and have to be used quickly. They're commonly found in Thai and other Southeast Asian recipes and have a fresher flavor than their black counterparts. (via Kitchn.com)

Most steak au poivre that I have had (never made it myself) had visibly black peppercorns, coarsely cracked and liberally coating the outside. I would suggest using that while you're perfecting cooking technique, and then try using pink (or if you can ever find them, perhaps in an Asian market, green) to see whether and how much it impacts the flavor of the dish.

One potential substitute is capers, which are also preserved in brine (and if I didn't know better, I'd think the dish in your Question's picture had capers in the sauce), but the flavor is likely to be fairly different.

  • Many recipes call for either all black peppercorns or a mixture. So as Erica says you can start with all black and then experiment with different mixtures later. Also wanted to note that capers in brine could be used as a substitute for green peppercorns in brine but I don't think that it is a flavor you would want for this dish. If you find green peppercorns for steak au poivre you would want dried. – Cindy Mar 30 '15 at 17:07
  • There may be (brined) green peppercorns in a sauce maybe, but any cracked peppercorn of whatever color would presumably need to be dried. – Erica Mar 30 '15 at 17:17
  • 1
    Agreed. I was making the comment in regard to your reference to using capers in brine as a substitute and just pointing out that the OP would want dried green peppercorns. – Cindy Mar 30 '15 at 17:22

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