The Chinese Five Spice blend is a staple in Chinese cooking, and is often used in a technique called “flavour potting”, where meat is steeped in a rich sauce and cooked for long hours. The spices included here are the most commonly used in five-spice powder, with the sweet tones of star anise, cloves and cinnamon with the bite of Szechwan pepper, all married together wtih ground fennel seeds. Some recipes use them in equal proportions, others use more of one to heighten a specific flavor. Generally though, Chinese five spice is dominated by the aroma and flavour of star anise. It is used in many Asian recipes, its sweet tangy flavour goes well with greasy meats like pork and duck. Stir-fried vegetables are enhanced by sprinkling about a teaspoon of Chinese five-spice over them when cooking. Add a little salt and it makes an excellent spice rub for chicken, duck, pork and seafood.
To Order Chinese Five Spice
Recipe for Chinese Five Spice
Blend the following ground spices:
1 1/2 tbsp star anise
2 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 1/2 tsp cassia or cinnamon
1/2 tsp Szechwan pepper
1/2 tsp cloves
optional: 1/2 teaspoon white pepper and/or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.
Both will give added bite and depth of flavour.
Photo by Tim Sackton / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)