Five Spice Powder, Chinese

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Most five spice powders are disappointingly one note. They promise a balanced blend of savory, sweet, and bitter but all too often it’s just a mouthful of star anise. Not that that’s bad or anything but it’s not what you wanted. It’s like ordering a pizza and the delivery guy just brings you a box with a wedge of cheese in it. This is five note. As advertised.

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Five spice powder is made of five ingredients, with the fifth one always being up for debate. Star anise, cloves, fennel seeds, and cinnamon are mandatory. Then it gets tricky; either the fifth spice consists of black peppercorns or Sichuan peppercorns. It really depends on who you ask in China. Heck, even in Southern parts of China the cinnamon is switched out for dried tangerine peel.

So like most blends there are rules to its composition, but you only follow them if you want to and if you can agree on whose rules to follow.

This blend is used mainly as a rub or marinade ingredient for pork or duck as it brings out their savory, naturally salty flavors. This also combines well with garlic, scallions, ginger, and soy sauce.

Additional Info

Country of OriginUnited States
Dietary NotesNo
QualitiesAll Natural, Gluten-Free, Kosher Parve, Non-GMO
Handling / StorageTo be stored in a cool, dry place.
Shelf Life2 years
CuisineAsian, Chinese
Product StylePowder
Basic PreparationAs this blend is very strong, use sparingly or add to recipes as required. If adding to a sauce, allow the sauce to simmer for 3-5 minutes to allow for the flavors to blend. For a more complex taste, allow this Five Spice Powder to be cooked for longer time periods.
Recommended ApplicationsTraditionally used in Chinese Cuisine, this Five Spice Powder is fantastic when added to any sauce or marinade. Used for rubs to accommodate pork, poultry, or seafood for a unique flavor. Rub on a duck or chicken prior to roasting for a spicy-sweet flavor.
IngredientsAnise seed, fennel, cinnamon, cloves, and black peppercorn.


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