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Chinese Five Spice

Chinese Five Spice Recipe

From the Chinese philosophy of
balancing the yin and yang in food

Chinese five spice powder is a spice mixture, traditionally made from fennel, cloves, Szechuan peppercorns, star anise, and cinnamon, although in some regions ginger is used instead of fennel. The five spice blend combines the five primary flavors of Chinese cuisine (based on the Chinese philosophy of balancing the yin and yang in food): sweet, sour, pungent, bitter, and salty.

While the five spice blend is a staple in Chinese cooking, the blend can be used in an assortment of cuisines, not just Chinese food. Sprinkle in stir fried vegetables while cooking or add a little salt to make an excellent spice rub for chicken, duck, pork and seafood. It is used in marinades, soups, braised dishes, and even set out on tables to be used as a food seasoning, much like ground pepper or salt.

Five-spice powder is indeed pungent, so be careful in its application.

Chinese Five Spice

Yield: Makes about 1/2 cup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons aniseed
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seed
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons whole peppercorns

Directions:
In a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, combine all ingredients. grind until mixture becomes a fine powder. (This may be done in small batches.)

(Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.)

Chinese Five Spice

Yield: Makes about 24 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 8 whole star anise
  • 2 tsp Szechwan peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp ground fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Szechwan pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
(optional: 1/2 teaspoon white pepper and/or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.)

Directions:

  1. In a dry skillet, roast the Szechuan peppercorns by shaking the pan over low to medium heat until the aroma of the peppercorns is released (about three minutes).
  2. Grind the roasted peppercorns with the star anise in a blender or pepper mill and strain the blended seasonings.
  3. Mix in the ground cloves, ground cinnamon, and ground fennel seeds.
  4. In a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, combine all ingredients and grind until mixture becomes a fine powder. (This may be done in small batches.)

Substitute:

  • 4 teaspoons of ground anise for the star anise
  • Lemon infused black peppercorns (See: Lemon Pepper Recipe) for the Szechuan peppercorn

(Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.)