Chinese Five Spice or Five Spice Powder is an aromatic spice blend from China and Vietnam. The most common variations contain five spices – star anise, Sichuan peppercorns, fennel seeds, cinnamon, and cloves. Ginger and anise are also sometimes added. In Southern Chinese cooking, dried orange peel may also be added.
Chinese Five Spice is considered to have all the flavors – sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and savory.
What is Chinese Five Spice used for?
Chinese Five Spice is commonly used in many Chinese and Vietnamese dishes. It’s most often used as a rub on meat – like chicken, fish, pork, and duck. Because it has so much cinnamon, you could also stir it into a cup of coffee or use it in baking. It makes a great topping for grilled vegetables and tofu. It’s also delicious on noodles or in ramen.
Chinese Five Spice Recipes
Five Spice Powder can be used in a variety of ways. Here are some of our favorite recipes that you can make with Chinese Five Spice.
- Five Spice Turkey from What a Girl Eats
- Five Spice Banana Bread from This Healthy Table
- Five Spice Tofu with Chili Ginger Sauce from A Virtual Vegan
- Char Sui Pork from Two Sleevers
- Chinese Five Spice Carrot Cake with Orange Icing from Veggie Desserts
- Chinese Five Spice Chocolate Chip Rolls from Daily Cooking Quest
- Five Spice Grilled Cornish Hens from Blackberry Babe
- Sticky Five Spice Chicken with Carrot Radish Slaw from Sidewalk Shoes
- Baked Turkey Hoison Meatballs from My Sequined Life
- Pork and Peanut Stir Fry from Lost in Food
- Chinese Sausage Stuffing from Savory Experiments
- Chinese Five Spice Chicken from Couple in the Kitchen
- Crispy Chicken Wings from Posh Journal
- Roasted Duck Recipe with Orange Sauce from Went Here 8 This
- Five Spice Peanut and Pumpkin Muffins from Simply Stacie
- Coconut Beef Curry from Supergolden Bakes
- Chinese Chicken Curry from Vikalinka
- Vegan Pho Recipe from Rhubarbarians
Recipe for Chinese Five Spice
With just a few ingredients, you can make your own delicious five spice blend. It makes your kitchen smell amazing!
- 6 star anise
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon*
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- Heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the peppercorns and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until they are toasted.
- Add the star anise, fennel seeds, and peppercorns to a spice grinder or high-speed blender and blend to combine.
- Add the blended star anise, fennel, and peppercorns to a small sifter or sieve and shake to separate the larger pieces from the ground spices. Discard the leftover, large pieces**
- Combine the star anise mix with the cinnamon and cloves. Stir to combine.
- Store for up to three months in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
*use Chinese or Vietnamese cinnamon if possible
**I had about a tablespoon and a half of larger pieces that would not blend further.
Where to Buy Chinese Five Spice
If you don’t want to make your own spice blend, you can purchase it online – I recommend this blend from The Spice House. Use the link below to get 10% off your first order.
Want More Spice Blends?
Check out our other spice blend recipes.
Have other questions about Five Spice Powder? Let us know in the comments below!