How to Use Chinese 5 Spice in Cooking: a blog around the steps with photos.

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Popular Chinese 5 Spice 

All spice, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger are all familiar ingredients in Chinese cooking. But Chinese 5-Spice Powder (五香粉) is not something most cooks have in the cupboard. It is a blend of those four spices plus star anise.Chinese 5 Spice is a very popular, but little understood spice blend. It is a mixture of five spices: star anise, Sichuan peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon and fennel seeds. Many Chinese 5 spice blends also include ground ginger and dried orange peel as well.

Chinese 5 Spice is an aromatic mixture of five spices from Szechuan Province in China. It is considered as a cooking ingredient which adds flavor to the food. The name 5 Spice is actually a little confusing because there are actually 10 spices which make up Chinese 5 Spice and adding red pepper gives it the flavor of 11 spices. The name, “Chinese 5 Spice” came about due to the fact that some companies in China had not included red pepper in their mixture.

Taste and aroma of Chinese five spice powder are often compared to those of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. However, they lack the sweetness of either cinnamon or cloves; rather, they are more piquant. Other ingredients contained in Chinese five spice include fennel seeds, star anise, white pepper and Szechuan pepper corns, cassia bark or cinnamon bark, licorice root, and ginger.

Chinese five spice powder is widely used for cooking meat or chicken dishes such as roast duck. One can also use it for marinating meat before grilling or stir-frying it. A common blend used by restaurants for cooking roasted duck involves Chinese five spice powder along with ground hoisin sauce and crushed garlic cloves.



The combination of flavors is quite different from what you get from any single spice alone. Allspice, cinnamon and clove are warm and pungent, while ginger and star anise give it a sweet edge. The overall effect is a warm, slightly smoky aroma and flavor with a hint of sweetness, which makes it versatile for many kinds of dishes.

Chinese 5 Spice is used in many Chinese dishes including red cooked pork belly, twice cooked pork belly and salt and pepper chicken. It can be used to add flavour to dumplings, noodle dishes and stir fries. Chinese 5 spice is also a key ingredient in making sweet and sour sauce.

How is it made?

The Chinese five spice powder is the most essential ingredient in Chinese cooking. It has a great flavor, but can be difficult to make.

This spice mix of Chinese five spice powder is made from the following ingredients: cinnamon, fennel, cloves, star anise and Sichuan pepper.

Trying the Chinese 5 spice powder recipe in your kitchen is not that difficult as long as you have the right ingredients in place. Follow the steps given below and learn how to prepare it.


You will need the following ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground star anise
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup Fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
  • 2 teaspoons Sichuan pepper or black peppercorns, coarsely crushed.
  • 2 tablespoons of whole white peppercorns or black peppercorns**

** I used black peppercorns instead of white ones.

Prepare the mixture by placing all the spices in a bowl and then grind them into a fine powder using a dry grinder or a food processor. If you are using a food processor, only grind 2 tablespoonfuls of Cloves and Star Anise separately

Chinese 5 spice unique taste and aroma

Chinese five spice powder is a blend of five spices that can be found in any Chinese grocery store. The five spices comprise cinnamon, cloves, star anise, Sichuan peppercorns and fennel seed. The Sichuan peppercorns are not technically a spice but the dried berry of a prickly ash tree.

Trying to identify these individual spices in the blend is impossible as they are blended together so well. Yet each one adds its own special flavor to the mix. If you were to identify one as having the most impact on the overall flavor of Chinese five spice powder it would have to be cinnamon.The cinnamon is what’s responsible for giving Chinese five spice powder its unique taste and aroma. However, you won’t find that much cinnamon in most of the blends. It takes a strong hand to make Chinese five spice powder because cinnamon has such a strong flavor if used in large quantities.

Chinese five spice powder is a condiment that Chinese chefs normally use in cooking. It has a unique taste and aroma. The five spice powder is made from a combination of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorns. These ingredients give the powder its distinctive fragrance and taste.

: The mixture of five spices is used in many different types of cooking as it can go with both sweet and savory meals. The five spice powder is commonly found in pork dishes, especially roasted pork. It also works well with beef, chicken, seafood and vegetables. There are also some regional variations to the mix of spices that make up the five-spice powder depending on regional tastes.

The five-spice powder can be used directly by sprinkling a pinch of it on top of food or adding it to marinades for meat or vegetables before grilling them. It can also be used as a rub for slow cooked meat or even added to warm oil and then poured over vegetables before serving them as an accompaniment to meat or fish. The spices can also be mixed together with honey or sugar to create a delicious glaze for meat before roasting or grilling it in the oven or over an open fire.

Taste wise it is hot and pungent with a hint of sweetness coming from the cinnamon, cloves and fennel seeds. It has a nice aroma that fills the kitchen when it’s being cooked with meat or vegetables.

Where is it available ?

There are many brands of Chinese 5 Spice available online, but I prefer the one made by Amoy because it has no preservatives added. You can find it on Amazon here:

To make perfect Chinese 5 Spice you need good quality spices which you can buy here:

Besides adding flavor to food, Chinese five spice powder can:In addition to its use in cooking, Chinese five spice powder is also used in traditional Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent and digestive aid. It has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine as a digestive aid and anti-inflammatory agent.

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