As the name suggests, five spice does have five spices. It’s often a blend of ground star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, and fennel seed, but it could also include turmeric, nutmeg, or ground ginger. While it’s a combination of all, the star anise aroma dominates quite a lot of the flavour, but the fennel seed and the earthiness of the cinnamon softens it. It’s commonly used in Chinese cuisine as a rub for fatty meats such as pork or duck, before being braised. Alternatively, a pinch of five spice could be added to your next dessert recipe for a hint of savouriness.
Three dish ideas using five spice:
- Slower cooker Chinese five spice beef stew from Healthy Season Recipes
- Ngoh Hiang (a teo chew specialty) from Noob Cook
- Five-spice roasted pears from A Couple Cooks