Chinese 5 Spice Recipe - Capture the Fab Authentic
Aromas and Flavours of China and Asia

A typical Chinese 5 spice powder is composed of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, star anise and peppercorns. Long ago Chinese philosophers chose 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)

6 whole star anise
1 tbsp peppercorns
4 tsp fennel seeds 
2 tsp whole cloves
4 inch piece of cinnamon

tbsp = tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon


  • Break up the cinnamon stick and star anise into smallish pieces
  • In your grinder, grind the cinnamon and star anise pieces with the fennel seeds, cloves and peppercorns
  • Once ground, sieve into a bowl. Regrind any bits that don't go through the sieve if necessary

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)

After Making Your Chinese 5 Spice Powder You May Enjoy...

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the True Taste of Sri
Lankan Cuisine

Homemade Pickling Mix -
For Perfectly Pickled
Fruit and Veg 

BBQ Rub Collection - A
Range of Rubs For the
Outdoor Grilling Fans 

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Seasoning Blends

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