Chinese Five Spice is basically a mix of 5 major spices and is a very versatile spice mix which can be used in variety of recipes. It is a must have in Chinese kitchen and is quite easy to make at home and much economical than buying it from stores. Here is how to make homemade Five Spice Powder.
What is Chinese Five Spice Powder?
It is a common misconception that Chinese cuisine comprises mainly of sauces and Chilli flakes. The cuisine is infact much more complex than that, and it stretches back to thousands of years. Like India, China too uses many spices that are common across the Asian region.
The Chinese 5 Spice is an authentic mixture of 5 common spices that are used in a majority of dishes from the region. This authentic homemade spice powder reflects the original blend of spices shared by families since generations. It has a sweet and a warm tone from the mixture of spices added to it.
The five spice powder has all the five flavours in one go – Salty, bitter, umami, sweet and sour, hence making it a perfectly balanced spice blend.
Taiwanese cuisine also use this spice mix in their cooking.
Chinese Five Spice Ingredients
The seasoning comprises Star Anise, Fennel Seeds, Sichuan Peppercorns, Dry Ginger and Cinnamon. These five spices encompasses all the five flavors; sour, sweet, bitter, spicy and salty. Rather than add the spices individually, adding them together adds a different depth and flavor to a dish, is a good balance of heat and enhances the dishes they are used in.
All these ingredients are readily available in any Asian store or you can order them online.
In addition to the must have ingredients in a traditional Five Spice recipe, you can also add turmeric, nutmeg, anise seeds, ginger root, amomum villosum pods, cardamom pods, licorice, orange peel, or galangal to give it a more complex flavour.
Although Chinese 5 Spice powder is available readymade, it must be made at home to experience the true aroma and flavor of each of the spice and it is much more economical to make it at home.
You can slightly roast the ingredients for a even more pronounced flavour.
Can Chinese Five Spice be substituted for All Spice?
Chinese Five spice is a blend of different spice however All Spice is one single berry. It is generally not advisable to use all spice in place of five spice as it will alter the taste.
How to use Five Spice Powder?
Five Spice is a very versatile powder and is a must in Chinese cooking. You can use it to flavour fillings for dumplings, dry rub for pork, beef and duck roast, in Chinese pancakes and stir fries. You can check out a whole lot of ideas here.
A small pinch of it when added to vegetable stir fry adds a great amount of flavor.
Where to buy Sichuan Peppercorns?
You can try to source these from your nearby Asian grocery store or try online from here.
How long can you store Five Spice Powder?
This spice mix can be stored ina glass jar for upto a month in cool and dry place. You can refrigerate it and increase it’s shelf life even more.
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How to make Chinese Five Spice Step By Step
Add all the ingredients in a blender and grind well to make a smooth powder. You can slightly roast the ingredients for a more profound flavour.
Transfer in a glass jar and store in a cool dry place.
Chinese Five Spice Powder Recipe
Chinese Five spice powder
Chinese Five Spice Powder Recipe is quite easy to make and much economical than buying it from stores.
- 30 g Star Anise
- 20 g Fennel Seeds
- 30 g Sichuan Peppercorns
- 10 g Dry Ginger
- 20 g Cinnamon
Add all the ingredients in a blender and grind well to make a smooth powder.
Transfer in a clean glass jar.
Store in a cool and dry place for 2-3 months.
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