Chinese 5 Spice Powder Recipe

This unique, flavorful spice blend can be used to season meat or vegetables. It will add a special fullness of flavor to a stir fry, or use it with some cooking oil to make a paste for the most amazing roasted chicken. If you start researching this unique spice blend, you will find some variations. For example you can substitute nutmeg, white pepper, ground ginger or cassia in place of the cinnamon. This recipe which I have used for years and cannot recall the original source uses black peppercorns which can be replaced with sichuan pepper for Asian authenticity. If you like Indian cuisine, you could add cumin or cardamon, resulting in a garam masala. In any case, here's a simple recipe I have enjoyed using and you feel free to vary it according to your taste.

Chinese 5 Spice Powder Ingredients:

2 tbl peppercorns
36 cloves
12  inches of cinnamon stick
2 tbl fennel seeds
12 whole star anise

Break up the cinnamon stick into chunks small enough to fit into your grinder. Place all of the ingredients into a small skillet and warm together over a moderate heat. Use your fingers to move the spices about in the pan. If its too hot for your fingers, then its too hot for your spices. Warm together until fragrant. Pour this mixture onto a plate to cool. Blend together in a spice blender. I use an old coffee bean grinder specifically kept for spice grinding. You can tear off a hunk of soft bread and place in your grinder. Spin it briefly to remove any remnants of your previous spice blend. Store this spice blend in a small jar. It keeps indefinitely in a cool dry area.


For those of you who want an interesting mellowness added to the pungent flavor of this versatile spice blend, try adding a tablespoon of ground coriander at the end. I have quite enjoyed this particular variation.

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