Chinese Five Spice is a staple in Chinese kitchens although not used in every recipe, an even blend of the following aromatics; pungent star anise, cloves, and cinnamon, fiery Sichuan pepper, and fennel seeds. However, like many recipes, it is not definite and other ingredients may be added or substituted such as ginger, nutmeg, turmeric and in south China orange peel. It is often used in ‘ Red ’ cooking or Chinese slow cooking, where meat is braised for many hours in heavily flavoured stocks or sauces
The sweet, tangy taste of Chinese Five Spice is excellent with fatty meats such as roast pork, duck or goose staples of classic Cantonese cuisine. An extremely versatile flavoured salt can be easily made by dry-roasting table salt with five-spice powder on a low heat in a wok until the spice and salt are well mixed. It makes an excellent spice rub for chicken, duck, pork, particularly Char sui – Cantonese BBQ pork, ribs, and seafood.
Chinese Five Spice Recipe
For best results blend the following whole spices in a spice grinder and store in an air-tight container in a cool, dark cupboard.
10 Star Anise pods
1 heaped tablespoon Fennel Seeds
3 cm piece of Cinnamon Stick
½ teaspoon Sichuan Peppercorns
½ teaspoon of White Peppercorns
½ teaspoon ground Ginger