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Chinese Five Spice Mix


I have food nazi tendencies. I refuse to buy commercial products full of additives when I can make the same thing at home with natural ingredients for a small portion of the cost. You could argue I like to make work for myself but both my palate and my pocket know the difference.

I’m generally happy to buy spice mixes, but I ran out of Chinese Five Spice the other day and decided to try making my own. I’m a dedicated advocate of freshly ground spices and make my own garam masala, panch phoran, baharat, tandoori paste and Cajun spice mix. With the five required spices in my pantry, there was no excuse.

The glorious heady scent of star anise, cassia bark, cloves, szechuan peppercorns and fennel seed filled the air as I pounded the spices to a powder, a simple added bonus to the delicious flavour.

In the week ahead, I plan to roast chicken pieces marinated with Chinese Five Spice and make Vietnamese Coleslaw with the extras.

Chinese Five Spice Powder

3 large star anise

2 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

2 X 5cm sticks cassia bark

1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon whole cloves

In a mortar, pound the spices to powder.

Shake through a coarse seive to remove any woody pieces.

Store in a sealed opaque container.

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

24 comments on “Chinese Five Spice Mix

  1. lfish64
    March 26, 2016

    I want to try this.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      March 26, 2016

      You should, it’s much better than a commercial spices blend

      Like

  2. White House Red Door
    November 2, 2015

    Oh, this looks so good! I completely agree with you about making your own blends when you can. I’ve already got my stash of homemade mulling spices and granola; the Chinese Five Spice Mix will be a welcome addition to my spice drawer. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Like

  3. Sabiscuit
    October 11, 2015

    I prefer mixing my spices as well. Every recipe deserves its own special formulation. Sometimes, I have allergic reactions to the additives. It’s better to crush and mix on my own. I also have friends from the Near East who use spices in their cooking. I get an assortment as gifts, and that definitely saves time. x

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 23, 2015

      Sorry for the slow response Sabiscuit. It’s always nice to receive spicy gifts. I much prefer to cook everything from scratch too, with natural ingredients, then I know exactly what I’m eating

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sabiscuit
        October 23, 2015

        My thoughts, too, as a coeliac. Thanks for responding. I hope you’re well. x

        Like

  4. ChgoJohn
    October 10, 2015

    I applaud you for making your own spice blends and I do prepare a few myself. This one is being pinned for future reference. Are you able to purchase small amounts of the necessary ingredients? I find it almost impossible to do so\ here. Maybe I need to expand my search area. Hmmm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ladyredspecs
      October 10, 2015

      I buy online John, from a spice merchant who only sells in small packages, quantities that you can easily use while fresh. I’m sure I pay a premium price, but faded spices are worthless anyway and I get aggravated by waste!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Karen
    October 10, 2015

    I love using five spice and I can just imagine how wonderful your freshly pounded spice mix’s fragrance must have been.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Michelle
    October 8, 2015

    Hear, hear! Beautiful pic, too.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 8, 2015

      Thanks Michelle, trust you’re settling into normailty after your time in the UK

      Like

  7. StefanGourmet
    October 8, 2015

    Purist sounds a bit friendlier than nazi 😉 I’ll have to try this. Five spice doesn’t always have the same five. I’ve never seen cassia bark before.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 8, 2015

      Cassia has strong cinnamon flavours Stefan, they are related. Yes purist is a much more accurate title…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Gather and Graze
    October 6, 2015

    Sandra, I can just imagine how beautiful this must smell, being ground up in the mortar! Something I definitely need to do more of.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 7, 2015

      You never go back to packaged mixes once you start making your own, the difference is enormous! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Gretchen
    October 6, 2015

    When time permits I am a food nazi too. Then hubby undermines me and brings crap home from the store! This spice blend looks lovely, can’t wait to see it in use.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 7, 2015

      Chinese 5 spice is a beautiful mix, deep rich aniseed flavours..

      Like

  10. cheergerm
    October 6, 2015

    I need to get off my butt and make my own blend of this. That photo is the biz Mrs R. I do buy a good quality blend (as I too am rather fussy about spices used) but there is nothing like a good bit of home mortar and pestle action.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 7, 2015

      The big reward for effort using a mortar to grind spices is the incredible aroma and of course the fabulous flavour

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Francesca
    October 6, 2015

    I can almost smell it from here. I am also a food Nazi, only Nazi worth being.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 7, 2015

      The perfume of the spices was incredible! “Nazi” was probably a poor choice of word…

      Like

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