Five Spice Powder Recipe - An Authentic Mix That Captures the Fab Flavours of China

A typical five spice powder recipe is usually made up of five traditional spices. These are star anise, cinnamon, fennel, cloves and peppercorns in varying quantities. For this easy-to-make blend I've added optional cardamom and ginger and I find this works great for my stir fry dishes.

Note: Try and use whole spices if you can as these will give your blend the tastiest and freshest flavours. If it's more convenient you can use pre-ground powders and reduce the amount the recipe says by half. For example; for 2 tablespoons of fennel seeds you use 1 tablespoon of pre-ground fennel and so on.

Homemade Chinese Five Spice Powder Recipe

Ingredients: (makes 6-7 tablespoons)

8-10 star anise
3 tbsp black peppercorns
2 tbsp fennel seed
1 tbsp whole cloves
2 x 2 inch pieces of cinnamon (or 1 tbsp ground)
15-20 green cardamom pods (optional)
2 tsp ground ginger (optional)

tbsp = tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon


  • If using, extract the seeds from the cardamom pods
  • Break up the cinnamon stick and star anise
  • Grind these along with the cloves, fennel and peppercorns
  • Sieve into a bowl
  • Add the ginger if using, and combine thoroughly

Store your 5 spice powder recipe in an airtight jar out of direct sunlight. Use within 3 months.

Note: You could toast the whole ingredients before cooling and grinding to get even more flavour from them. Click here for step-by-step tips and photos on how to do this.

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