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Chinese Five-Spice

A warm and rich combination of spices used in Asian cooking.

Chinese five-spice powder is a mixture of spices based on the belief that the universe is composed of five basic elements. The spices used in this mixture represent each of those elements and together are a wonderful combination of flavours that are both a little sweet and warm.

This combination of spices is used in more than Chinese cooking. You'll find this mixture in both Hawaiian and Vietnamese cooking as well. Try my beef broccoli udon stir-fry recipe if you wish to try out this great spice combination.

You can buy Chinese five-spice powder relatively easily; however, if you find yourself in a pinch it is easy to whip up a batch on the fly. The only spice you might not have in your cupboard already are the Szechuan peppercorns. They can be bought whole or ground, and I like to have them on hand for all sorts of recipes.

I sometimes add a bit of ginger to the mixture as well. I love the added body it provides, but for a straightforward five-spice, stick to those listed below.



(Makes 15 servings | Serving size = 1 teaspoon)

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 tablespoon ground cloves

  • 1 tablespoon ground fennel seed

  • 1 tablespoon ground star anise

  • 1 tablespoon ground Szechuan peppercorns



In a medium bowl, combine the spices and mix well. Store in an air-tight container and use as needed.


Nutritional Information Per Serving:

total calories = 5 | total fat = 0.14g | saturated fat = 0.03g | cholesterol = 0mg | sodium = 1.6mg | net carbohydrates = 0.52g | dietary fibre = 0.7g | sugars = 0.02g | protein = 0.17g

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