Verbena Pepper (Litsea cubeba)

Verbena Pepper (Litsea cubeba)
Ingredients: Litsea cubeba
Lemongrass-scented wild peppercorns. Use to season vinaigrettes, seafood, and fruit.
€9.10 25 g


Just before using, coarsely crush whole peppercorns in a mortar and pestle. Use to season salad dressings, and raw seafood marinades.
This subtle wild pepper highlights the flavors of shellfish.
It can be infused in liquid to add zing to fruit compotes, fresh fruit salads, and poached fruit.
  • Allergens Absent, except for cross-contamination.
    May contain traces of sesame, celery, mustard, soy.
  • Origin Vietnam
  • Storage / Use In a cool, dark, dry place.
€364 / kg

The words of Mathilde Rœllinger

Verbena pepper or Verbena berries are the fruit of the Litsea cubeba plant. The berries look like smooth oversized peppercorns and have a pleasant crunch.
At first, verbena pepper has a lemongrass bouquet with the freshness of verbena leaves and juniper berries and a sweetness reminiscent of scented geranium. The pepper’s citrus notes then continue to linger on the palate.

Hugo Roellinger pairs verbena pepper with kaffir lime oil in a vinaigrette that highlights the delicate flavors of his ‘translucid’ Dublin prawns.


The verbena pepper we’ve selected grows wild in the forests of North Vietnam. It is harvested in September, when the fruits are picked and sorted by hand. After this labor-intensive process, the berries are dried in the sun and sorted a second time.

Verbena pepper is the fruit of the Litsea cubeba (Lour.) tree which thrives in the tropical regions of Vietnam, northern India, southern China, Japan, and Taiwan. I`t can grow up to 8 metres (24 feet) tall. The tree is a member of the laurel (Lauraceae) family along with cinnamon and bay laurel. Verbena pepper is classified as a ‘false pepper’ but we prefer to call it a ‘pepper cousin.’

Listea cubeba pepper is also called Chinese pepper. In Chinese cooking the fresh peppercorns are used to season pickles and salads. The pepper’s essential oils have medicinal properties recognized by both traditional and modern medicine. Its fragrance is also used to scent perfumes and cosmetics.