Chinese Five Spice is a spice blend that its exact origins are unknown. Some food historians believe that this is the Chinese way of incorporating the ying with the yang in cooking as the heat of a dish is balanced by a corresponding cooling ingredient. There’s another group feel that it’s more likely that is was accidentally stumbled upon by a cook who recognized the blend’s ability to enliven even the blandest dish. No matter which story is correct there’s little doubt that Chinese Five Spice is not your typical seasoning blend.
Some recipes for Chinese Five Spice call for the ingredients to be in equal amounts while others give greater weight to one or two of the spices and still others incorporate various additional spices into the mix depending on the dish to be seasoned.
Be wary of lesser quality Five Spice blends that use black pepper or anise seed instead of Sichuan peppercorns and star anise. These are often substituted as they are not only less expensive but the flavor is not nearly as authentic or robust as what you’ll find with this top quality Chinese Five Spice blend.
Chinese Five Spice is dominated by the aroma and licorice flavor of star anise and you’ll also pick up the sweet notes of cloves and cinnamon followed by the numbing bite of Sichuan pepper, all married together with ground fennel.
What's in It?
Hand blended from ground star anise, cloves, fennel, cinnamon and Sichuan peppercorns.