For adding authentic flavour to your Chinese cooking, making your own Chinese 5 spice powder is the thing to do! Long ago Chinese philosophers chose cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, star anise and peppercorns as the five main ingredients as these as they cover our five basic tastes: bitter, salty, sweet, sour and pungent and means that this blend is super versatile and works with numerous dishes both savoury and sweet. (See the bottom of the page for links to more of my homemade seasonings and blends)
Ingredients: (makes about 5 tablespoons)
1 tbsp peppercorns
1 tbsp fennel seeds
2 tsp whole cloves
3 inch piece of cinnamon
3-4 star anise
tbsp = tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon
That's all there is to it!
Store your Chinese five spice in an airtight jar in a cool place and out of direct sunlight. Use within 3 months before making a fresh amount.
Note: You can dry toast the cinnamon and star anise pieces, peppercorns, cloves and fennel seeds for a few minutes before cooling and grinding. The heat from the toasting releases
fabulous flavours and aromas. Click here for info on toasting and grinding ingredients. (Link opens in new window)
Ingredient Note: For the best flavours, try and use whole ingredients for this recipe. If you only have pre-ground powders just use these, but reduce the quantities the recipe requires by half. For example, for 2 teaspoons of whole cloves you would use 1 teaspoon of pre-ground cloves. Reduce any others you don't have whole by half as well and stir in with any other powders when making. Click here for a version of this recipe that only uses pre-ground ingredients. (Link opens in new window)
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