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Chinese Five Spice Powder Recipe

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Make your own Chinese Five Spice Powder recipe for authentic flavor in your dishes. The blend of five essential spices in this easy-to-follow homemade recipe effortlessly enhances the taste of your dishes. Enjoy cooking with a simple and all-around spice blend.

Spices and herbs on a white plate.
Chinese Five Spice Powder Recipe. Photo credit: Low Carb – No Carb.

The best thing about having this spice powder is that it is not only suited for Chinese recipes but can also be used for various dishes as it is versatile. Having a homemade version at home gives you a much stronger flavor, mainly when using fresh spices. 

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Use it for Taiwanese popcorn chicken, delicious chicken bacon casserole, and other meat dishes, like the cabbage beef recipe. This Chinese spice can be used for any dish that needs an Asian savory and rich taste.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • Unique Flavor Blend – combines five distinct flavors: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami, creating a well-balanced and savory taste.
  • Signature Chinese Flavors – captures the essence of traditional Chinese flavors, adding authenticity to your Asian-inspired dishes.
  • Aromatic – the aromatic qualities of the spices in the blend, such as star anise and cloves, can enhance the overall sensory experience of your meals.

What Is A Five Spice Powder?

Powdered five spice is a blend of five rich spices. It includes star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorns, and fennel seeds. The concept of this spice mix is associated with and based on the five elements – fire, wood, water, earth, and metal. Each spice in the mix represents one of these elements and perfectly balances the flavor profile of a Chinese seasoning.

Origin Of Five Spice Powder

Five-spice has its origins in Chinese cuisine. People in China have been using this mixture. As time passed, the popularity of five-spice powder spread, and now it is used in Chinese cuisine and other types of cooking worldwide, especially in East Asian Cuisine.

A plate of spices and herbs on a gray background.
A plate of spices and herbs on a gray background.

What Is The Flavor Of 5 Spice Powder?

It tastes sweet and slightly spicy, with a lovely, strong smell. It is a blend of different flavors, like cinnamon’s sweet taste, cloves’s bit of spice, and Sichuan peppercorns’ unique flavor. 

The 5 Spices

Star Anise

This unique spice comes from a tree that stays green all year long. The tree is from China and some other places in Asia. People call it star anise because it looks like a star. You can quickly tell by its unique star shape when you see it. Star anise makes the spice mix taste sweet and brings a pleasant smell like licorice. It adds a special touch to the mix, making it more exciting and tasty.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon comes from the inside part of cinnamon trees. People have been using it for generations. It tastes sweet and warm, and everyone around the world adores it. Cinnamon makes the five-spice mix taste cozy and warm, whether powdery or in sticks.

Cloves

Cloves are from the tight buds of a tree in Indonesia. People there have used them for hundreds of years because they have a strong, spicy, warm taste. When you put cloves in the mix, the flavor becomes stronger and more intense.

Fennel Seeds

These seeds come from the fennel plant. These little seeds add a unique taste to the five-spice powder, like how licorice tastes. People like using fennel seeds because they make the food a bit sweet and smell nice.

Sichuan Peppercorns

These peppercorns come from a particular type of plant and have a tangy, numbing taste. People in certain places, like Sichuan in China, have used them for quite a long time.

Spices and herbs on a white plate.
Spices and herbs on a white plate.

How To Make Chinese Five Spice Powder Recipe

Our five-spice powder recipe is easy to make at home and requires only five ingredients. Follow these simple steps to achieve this perfect and flavorful mix.

Kitchen Gadgets Needed:

  • Magic Bullet: Use it as a quick spice blender. It helps chop up spices fast for your spice mix and makes it easy.
  • Mortar and Pestle: Essential for crushing the spices and letting the flavors come out before grinding.
  • Spice container: Use it to keep your powder stored and fresh.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Star Anise: These star-shaped ingredients bring sweetness to the mix.
  • Cloves: Look for these tiny spices, as they will give the mix a warm and earthy flavor. You can use Allspice if you do not have enough.
  • Cinnamon is an essential part of the mix, giving sweetness and warmth. Try different types like Ceylon, Vietnamese, Indonesian or Chinese cinnamon sticks for different flavors.
  • Sichuan Peppercorn: Brings a tangy taste to the spice mix.
  • Fennel Seeds are light and sweet, adding to the overall taste. 

*Exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below.

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS TO MAKE FIVE SPICE POWDER

First Step: Prepare All Of The Spices

Start by preparing all of the spices needed for the recipe. If you can, grow and dry them at home and powder them when you want to use them. But if impossible, try to get the freshest and best-quality ingredients, preferably organic and whole pieces.

Chinese five spice powder on a white plate.
Chinese five spice powder on a white plate.

Second Step: Break

Get your mortar and pestle ready. Place all the spices and break them to release the flavors. It is an excellent step to achieve better results before you powder them.

A person crushing spices using Mortar and Pestle.
A person crushing spices using Mortar and Pestle.

Third Step: Grind

After breaking the ingredients, prepare the magic bullet or any spice grinder and transfer them in. You can also use a food processor or a coffee grinder for this step.

Start crushing the spices into the magic bullet. Pulse the blender until all the spices are finely ground.

How to grind spices.
How to grind spices.

Fourth Step: Mix and Store

Once the spices are turned into a fine powder, transfer them into a glass container.

Serve and use in your dishes and store them after.

Spices in a bowl on a wooden table.
Spices in a bowl on a wooden table.

TIPS AND TRICKS:

  • Spices – If you can, try to find the best quality of all the spices so the powder will be excellent.
  • Break them – break the spices before turning them into powder so the taste will be more concentrated.
  • Ratios – try different ratios of the spices to find your perfect blend. You may prefer more ingredients and less.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Substitute For Sichuan Peppercorns and Cinnamon

If Sichuan peppercorns are unavailable or you cannot find any, you can use regular black peppercorns as a substitute. If you do not have cinnamon, you can use nutmeg or Allspice instead. They have a similar warmth and slightly sweet and fragrant flavors that can work well in many recipes.

Ginger can also be an excellent substitute for part of the cinnamon since it adds a warm and spicy note that complements the other spices in the blend.

Can I Toast The Spices?

You can toast the spices yourself before grinding them, as toasting spices releases even more flavors. Toss them in a pan over low heat for a few minutes.

A bowl of spices and herbs on a white plate.
A bowl of spices and herbs on a white plate.

How To Use Powdered Five Spice?

My favorite thing about this seasoning blend is that it brings together five different tastes in one mix. Imagine having sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami in one spice mix. It is better than having just one. Add it to stir-fries and stews like stir-fry chicken and beef stew to enhance their aroma.

This seasoning blend is also best for marinating and roasting meats like pork, poultry, or even seafood. For a slightly Asian flavor, flavor your Brussels sprouts and grilled shrimp skewers with this powder.

How Do I Store The Spice Powder?

Ensure you store five-spice powder properly to keep it fresh. Storing it in a sealed glass container, away from heat and light, helps maintain its flavor and quality for longer. I like to store it this way because when you use it in cooking, the freshness will make you feel like you just made it a few minutes ago.

Can I Freeze Homemade Five Spice?

Sure, you can freeze homemade five-spice. Put it in a sealed bag or airtight container, remove the air, and pop it in the freezer. Freezing helps keep it fresh for later use in your cooking sessions.

More Spices For The Pantry Collection

Remember to check out more of our flavorful recipes, which can add spice and a savory kick to your dishes.

Try this curry powder substitute the next time you cook Indian food or just a classic chicken curry. For a taco party, use our taco seasoning, and for other savory parties, make this sausage seasoning mix.

Our granulated garlic or garlic powder recipe, made from dehydrated garlic, is also your best option when fresh garlic is not available. Go ahead and feel free to experiment with all these spices!

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Low carb five spice powder.
Low carb five spice powder.

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A bowl of spices and herbs on a white plate.

Chinese Five Spice Powder Recipe

Zuzana Paar
5 from 3 votes
Make your own Chinese Five Spice Powder recipe for authentic flavor in your dishes. The blend of five essential spices in this easy-to-follow homemade recipe effortlessly enhances the taste of your dishes. Enjoy cooking with a simple and all-around spice blend.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Course Pantry
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Servings 10 People
Calories 12 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 Teaspoons Star Anise
  • 1 Teaspoon Cloves
  • 3 Tablespoons Cinnamon
  • 2 Teaspoons Sichuan Peppercorn
  • 1 Tablespoon Fennel Seeds

Instructions
 

  • Start by preparing all of the spices needed for the recipe. If you can, grow and dry them at home and powder them when you want to use them. But if impossible, try to get the freshest and best-quality ingredients, preferably organic and whole pieces.
  • Get your mortar and pestle ready. Place all the spices and break them to release the flavors. It is an excellent step to achieve better results before you powder them.
  • After breaking the ingredients, prepare the magic bullet or any spice grinder and transfer them in. You can also use a food processor or a coffee grinder for this step. Start crushing the spices into the magic bullet. Pulse the blender until all the spices are finely ground.
  • Once the spices are turned into a fine powder, transfer them into a glass container. Serve and use in your dishes and store them after.

Video

Notes

  • Spices – If you can, try to find the best quality of all the spices so the powder will be excellent.
  • Break them – break the spices before turning them into powder so the taste will be more concentrated.
  • Ratios – try different ratios of the spices to find your perfect blend. You may prefer more ingredients and less.

Nutrition

Serving: 1TeaspoonCalories: 12kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 0.4gFat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 36mgFiber: 2gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 11IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 38mgIron: 1mg

Disclaimer

Please note that nutrient values are estimates only. Variations can occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of origin, preparation, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.

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By Zuzana Paar on March 10th, 2024
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About Zuzana Paar

Zuzana is the creative force behind this vibrant blog. With passion as a recipe developer, content creator, food writer, movie maker, and photographer, she poured her heart and soul into curating a space brimming with delightful keto and low carb recipes. Join her on this flavorful journey where quick, easy-to-make dishes take center stage, bringing joy and nourishment to your table.

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