Native Thyme And Mountain Pepper Spice Rub Recipe

Meg Meg Hughes
Make your own native spice dry rub
Dry rubs are perfect to have on hand in the kitchen.

Every once in a while, life drops a new flavour bomb that leaves you wondering how you ever lived without said taste explosions in your kitchen before. If you’re not already familiar with this continent’s vast array of Australian native herbs and spices, it’s decidedly likely a few of these could hold the key to that culinary capstone you’ve been yearning for.

Native Thyme is just one such bush gem - somewhat similar in appearance to ordinary thyme, but highly aromatic and stronger in flavour. Native to the south eastern corner of NSW, Tasmania and Victoria, the bushes are in fact commonly grown in commercial shade houses and back yards alike.

Also highly fragrant - and fresher - than its more commonly known peppercorn counterpart, Tasmanian Mountain Pepper has both edible leaves and berries, complementing all manner of foods as a substitute for run-of-the-mill black pepper.

So it follows that this Native Thyme And Mountain Pepper Spice Rub works wonderfully well with just about EVERYTHING you can think of. Red meats, chicken, seafood (a little goes a long way), eggplant, zucchini and beetroot. In fact, while we’re at it - over any roast veggies, stir-fries, spice-kicked nuts, eggs, sauces, dukkah, tossed salads, dressings, marinades - it’s even been known to liven up damper breads…

As with all flavourings, much of it comes down to personal taste of course. So don’t be afraid to dabble a little with the proportions or even substitute here and there if feeling especially adventurous. To get things started, try the following blend -


  • 2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1.5 tsp dried Native Thyme
  • 1.5 tsp dried Mountain Pepper berries
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 0.5 tsp dried Mountain Pepper leaf
  • 0.5 tsp mustard seeds
  • 0.5 tsp coriander seeds

Use a pestle and mortar to grind everything together to a grainy consistency that can be rubbed or sprinkled as needed. To maintain flavour do this just before you intend to use it, otherwise store the spice mix in an air-tight container for later use.

And there you have it, bombs away as they say ;-) Do you have your own favourite spice blend? Perhaps you’ve already experimented with Australian native herbs and spices? Do be brave and tell us about your experiences below.

As always, there’s Australian Kitchen to browse for spice rubs, condiments and sauces to keep you inspired.