Water Pepper

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

Water pepper is a relative of rau ram, or Vietnamese coriander. Polygonum hydropiper is a widespread native of wet areas in the Northern Hemisphere. Its leaves have been used as a pepper substitute in Europe, and are now used mainly in Japan to provide a peppery, somewhat numbing pungency (from polygodial). Water pepper also has woody, pine, and eucalyptus notes.