5 Spice Combinations

Chinese five spice powder is a spice blend that is typically used in Chinese and other Asian cuisines. The basic ingredients are fennel, star anise, cloves, cinnamon and Sichuan pepper. The mixture can be ground into a powder or the whole spices may be toasted and ground.

Chinese five-spice powder is great in meat dishes such as stir-frys and marinades. It also works well with vegetables such as mushrooms and eggplant. Try it on Brussels sprouts or butternut squash.

You can find five-spice powder at most large grocery stores, Asian markets and online. If you like, you can make your own combination of the spices that work for you. If you don’t have all the spices on hand, substitute similar tasting spices such as nutmeg for the star anise or allspice for the cloves.

If you’re looking to freshen up your spice collection, check out our favorite spices for every kitchen pantry!

Chinese Five Spice is a blend of five spices that is traditionally used in the Chinese kitchen. The exact blend varies from region to region, but the most common mix includes equal parts ground cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, star anise and Sichuan pepper. These spices are used because they represent all five elements in Chinese cooking: wood (cinnamon), fire (cloves), earth (fennel seeds), metal (star anise) and water (Sichuan pepper).

The combination is extremely fragrant and works well in a variety of dishes. Five spice powder is used in marinades for meat and poultry, baked goods such as biscuits and cookies, stews, soups and even roasted vegetables. It can also be used as a rub for meat with or without additional salt or sugar.

Chinese Five Spice is sometimes labeled as “Chinese 5 Spice” or simply “Five Spice Powder.” Be sure to check the ingredients label when purchasing five spice powder because some blends contain salt or sugar. If you purchase premixed Chinese Five Spice that contains salt, omit any added salt in your recipe.

Chinese Five Spice is a blend of five spices. It is the most common blend for Chinese cooking. In the following list, it is referred to as “Five Spice”.

If you don’t have any Chinese Five Spice, you can make your own by adding 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg to the recipe below. Or, simply use 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon and call it Cinnamon Spice muffins.

Here are a few more combinations (use one per recipe):

1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds + 2 teaspoons ground ginger + 2 teaspoons allspice + 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes; OR

2 teaspoons ground ginger + 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes + 2 teaspoons ground black pepper + 1 tablespoon dried minced onion flakes + 1 tablespoon dried minced garlic; OR

2 teaspoons dried sage leaves + 3 teaspoons curry powder + 2 tablespoons dried minced onion flakes; OR

3 tablespoons sesame seeds + 2 tablespoons fennel seeds + 3 tablespoons anise seeds

Chinese five-spice powder is a mixture of star anise, cloves, Chinese cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, and fennel seeds. It is used as a spice rub for chicken, duck, pork and seafood, in red cooking recipes, or added to the breading for fried foods.

Five-spice powder is used for cocktails as well. Try it in simple syrup for a unique flavor or as a rim on the glass for Margaritas.

Try experimenting with your own five-spice blends. Replace star anise with cardamom or coriander seeds. Use cassia bark instead of Chinese cinnamon. Try adding dried orange peel or licorice root.

Five-Spice Powder is a common ingredient in Chinese cuisine. It typically contains five spices, although the exact composition varies from one region to another. The most common combination is star anise, cloves, cinnamon, sichuan pepper and fennel seeds. Other mixtures may include ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, tangerine peel or galangal.

In the West it is often used as a rub for meat and poultry or mixed into marinades. The flavor is complex and aromatic with both sweet and savory elements.

Chinese Five Spice is a blend of 5 aromatic spices – namely star anise, cinnamon, fennel seed, cloves and Szechuan peppercorns.

The Chinese believe that these 5 spices complement one another and are thought to balance the body’s yin and yang – each spice represents one of the 5 elements: metal, wood, fire, earth or water.

Five Spice is used as a rub for meats such as chicken and duck and in marinades. It can also be added to stews, soups, stir-fries, rice and noodles.

The blend can be made using whole or ground spices but I think it’s nicer using the whole spices which you can grind yourself using a pestle and mortar just before adding it to your dish.

1.Cinnamon and cloves

2.Cinnamon and star anise

3.Cumin, fennel seeds, Szechuan peppercorns

4.Galangal, clove, lemongrass

5.Ginger and cinnamon

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