How To Make Chinese 5 Spice Mix

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. 

peking chicken 5 spice

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 : 

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