McCormick’s Szechuan Style Pepper Blend

I was very disappointed to find out that McCormick had discontinued my favorite pepper blend of all-time!  I loved to sprinkle it on my eggs; made everything very tasty.  This disappointment came a few years ago (circa 2006) and today it’s still on my mind.  I proceeded to re-create the Szechuan pepper blend last year and met with some small success (not quite the same but it will do for now).  Just in case you loved the pepper blend as much as I did; and wanted to know the ingredients so you can try your hand at possibly re-creating it, here’s the list…

  • Spices: Black Pepper, Red Pepper, Ginger, Garlic, Sugar, Onion, Salt, Extractives of Paprika (I worked only with mixing the spices in an empty spice container and didn’t concern myself with the tricalcium).
  • Tricalcium Phosphate

McCormick on Szechuan Style Pepper Blend: “Turn up the heat!  Use this spicy blend to give your foods that famous flavor of the Orient.  Shake on steak, chicken, or pork before grilling or broiling.  Sprinkle on shrimp and saute in small amount of butter; serve on cooked noodles or rice.  Add to stir-fried vegetables, cooked rice, or marinades.  Spice up pizza, hamburger or subs.”

I bet my husband is tired of seeing me carefully perusing through the supermarket spice section (just about every time we go food shopping) hoping that McCormick has brought back its magic blend.   As an aside, I’m also upset that Shake ‘n Bake discontinued its Honey Mustard flavor (also the best of the bunch).

One word of caution, the mix is very pungent and is an irritant to the nostrils so if you have to smell it to gauge the success of the mix, do not put your nose directly over it!  I learned the hard way =(.   Judging from the second picture, there is a texture difference between what I made and the original recipe.  I’ve been trying to guess the exact proportions of each ingredient and haven’t reached perfection yet; though I haven’t thrown in the towel either.

*Photocredit: NYCupcake

*Addendum August 14, 2013:

A chain of sneezes later and without further adieu this is so far the closest I’ve gotten to the original blend (see below).  One slight noticeable difference is that mine was sweeter and less smokier than the original.  I like it though =)…

  • black pepper: 6 turns of the mill
  • red pepper flakes: 1 tsp.
  • ginger: start with 1/2 tsp.  You may go up to 1/4 tsp. but the mix will be sweeter.  Ginger was definitely the sweet factor.
  • powdered roasted garlic: 2.5 tsp.  Garlic is the smoky factor.
  • granulated sugar: 1 tsp.
  • onion powder: 2 tsp.  Semi-sweet factor.
  • onion salt: 1/8 tsp. or a few quick sprinkles.
  • paprika: 1/4 tsp.


I hope this helps and I encourage you to play with this recipe and customize it to your preferences.  Happy spicing everyone!

P.S.  I apologize for taking so long in replying to your messages and updating this post.  Hopefully you will try this recipe, like it, and easily forgive me =)



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  1. Katrina Newlin says:

    When you get the recipe, please let me know. I have been looking for this pepper for years now. I can’t find anything like it. Thanks for your help!

  2. Gaye Weinman says:

    I have been looking for SZECHUAN SEASONING and also STIR FRY SEASONING and have not been able to find them. Wonder how one finds out if they have discontinued it. If you know, I’d appreciate the information. Thanks.

  3. Mike Wayson says:

    When you get it right, Please send me the recipe too. We love it and can’t find it anyplace. Had one old bottle of it that is almost gone.


  4. Michele says:

    Much to my disappointment, I just found out yesterday that it was discontinued. Thanks for posting the spices to recreate it. I think I’ll give it a try.

  5. Dear Michele:

    It is really disappointing that McCormick has not brought this wonderful spice back. I still check the spice section at my supermarket from time to time. In a few minutes I am going to post results of my updated experiment in re-creating the Szechuan Style Pepper Blend with the specific measurements. Please let me know what were your results.


  6. Dear Mike:

    Hi, I will post my results in a few and email them to you also. Thanks for commenting.


  7. Dear Gaye:

    Best to either contact McCormick directly by calling 800-632-5847, posting an inquiry via their online email/message form, or via Facebook:

    You can Google McCormick discontinued spices… I found this site by doing so…

    Hope this helps.


  8. alok says:

    Hi Cupcake: I live in Beijing and am also a fan of the McCormick Szechuan pepper mix – the “ayi” in office gave me some with boiled eggs the other day. It is available in Beijing (March 2014). Perhaps your local Chinese/ Asian store can source it again. It however has MSG so I tried a home made blend… but its not the same. Cheers A

  9. Heather says:

    I was searching for a replacement for this seasoning and found your post. Thank you so much for sharing!

  10. Hi Alok:

    Thanks for writing to me and letting me know about this. I really appreciate it! I will keep my eyes out for it whenever I’m in my local Asian grocery stores :)! The MSG part is a bit disheartening though… Yes, I will agree that a homemade blend isn’t quite the same but the beauty of it is you have more control of the ingredients and can custom the taste to your preferences. Thanks again and sorry for the delayed response.


  11. Hi Heather:

    You’re very welcome. I can empathize. Why good/popular items are discontinued, I will never understand why. Thanks for your kind comment :).


  12. Jay says:

    I have perhaps one meal’s worth of my McCormick’s Szechuan Pepper Blend, and can’t believe that it’s been discontinued. I also can’t believe that I can’t find it on the internet. It’s this search that brought me here, to share my disappointment with the other few who might relate to my pain.

  13. Hi Jay:

    Yeah, I know what you mean :(. It always saddens me when they discontinue certain beloved items and leave no possible substitute. Treasure that little bit that’s left and please try the blend I suggested. I’m curious as to what you think of it. Thanks for finding my post.

    P.S. Please forgive my delayed response.

    NY Cupcake

  14. Hi Katrina:

    I have no idea how your comment was overlooked! I’m so sorry. I did post a blend I had tried which came kind of close to the original but not exactly. Scroll down until you see it. Hope you give it a try. Thanks so much.

    NY Cupcake

  15. Christin Ocasio says:

    I’ve been hoarding my container for years and sadly it’s down to the bottom. I’m going to give your recipe a try and substitute Szechuan peppercorns and smoked paprika.

  16. Hi Christin:

    Please let me know how you like it. I might just give that a try once I’m finally finished with my homemade batch :).


  17. Winona says:

    So is the recipe about the most current one? Or is there a different one you are using. I too miss this spice.

  18. Hi Winona:

    This is a recipe that I came up with through some trial and error. It is reminiscent of the original recipe but not identical. I wish McCormick would bring this spice back because so many people love it.


  19. Lisa says:

    Thank you for this. I LOVED this seasoning and every once in awhile look for it online just in case. I used to put it on everything – pasta, rice, baked potatoes, meats, veggies. Everything. I will be sure to try your recipe and hope it brings back wonderful memories.

  20. Hi Lisa:

    I empathize with you. It was one of the best seasonings they created. I hope you enjoy the mix I shared and change it to your liking if need be.


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