Chinese 5 spice is a must-have blend of sweet, sour and umami flavours. It imparts a red colouring when used as a dry rub, marinade and basting sauce. The perfect example of this is a roast duck or chicken basted with the 5 spice mix, soy and caramel cooking sauce.
I couldn’t find it in my local grocery stores. That’s OK as I prefer to make my own spice mixes from bulk bought ingredients.
Most recipes call for a mix of cloves, cinnamon, fennel seeds, star anise and Sichuan peppercorns but there are many variants.
Note: I had to substitute the Sichuan peppercorns for a mix of coriander seeds and black peppercorns (an established substitute).
Add this list of spices to a herb blender and mix until you get a rough but even consistency:
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp coriander (cilantro) seeds
- 1 tsp cloves, whole
- 1 tsp cinnamon, ground
- 0.5 tsp black pepper, ground
- 2 star anise seed pods, whole
Use any airtight container.
Here is some more Chinese cooking content and a wide range of spice blends :