Last week I went to the cupboard and reached for the Chinese Five Spice powder to rub some into the pork roast. No show. No Chinese Five Spice! Then I remembered I’d thrown out the last bit because it was a couple of months old. Silly me, you must have this seasoning mix in your pantry.
Chinese Five Spice is a usually a combination of: Chinese cinnamon, fennel seed, star anise, and cloves. When it comes to the fifth spice, it can be a bit of a wild card between ginger, white pepper, and Sichuan peppercorns!
The beauty of any Five Spice mix is the wiggle room based on what spices you have on hand, and you can cater them to your taste. This is my favourite.
- 10 star anise (or 2 tablespoons ground star anise)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons whole fennel seeds (or 1 1/2 tablespoons ground fennel seed)
- 2 teaspoons szechuan peppercorns (or 2 teaspoons ground szechuan peppercorn)
- 1 small stick cinnamon (or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
- 6 whole cloves (or 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves)
- Toast the whole spices in a dry pan over medium-high heat until very fragrant. Be careful not to scorch the spices or they will become bitter.
- Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Grind the spices in a coffee/spice grinder, blender or with a mortar and pestle.
- Store in an airtight container until ready to use.