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Chinese Five Spice

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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.

Ingredients for Chinese five spice.

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 powder in a small glass container, with a small spoon

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.

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!

Yield: about 3 tablespoons

Chinese Five Spice

Ingredients for Chinese five spice.

Chinese Five Spice (Five Spice Powder) is a deeply aromatic and delicious spice blend used in Chinese and Vietnamese cooking.

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Additional Time 1 minute
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 6 star anise
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon*
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves


  1. Heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the peppercorns and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until they are toasted.
  2. Add the star anise, fennel seeds, and peppercorns to a spice grinder or high-speed blender and blend to combine.
  3. 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**
  4. Combine the star anise mix with the cinnamon and cloves. Stir to combine.
  5. 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 - we recommend this Chinese Five Spice Blend from The Spice House.

If you'd like to buy five spice on Amazon, we recommend Frontier's Five Spice Blend.

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!

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