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Chinese Five Spice

Information for Chinese Five Spice

The Chinese five spice is a spice blend that combines five basic ingredients used in creating Chinese and other Asian cuisines. The ingredients consist of cinnamon, cloves, star anise, ground fennel seeds, and Sichuan pepper. The formula for these ingredients is based on the Chinese yin and yang philosophy, meaning "dark and light", in food.

A variation of the ingredients used in making the five spice powder includes powdered star anise and aniseed, ground cloves, authentic Chinese cinnamon which comes from powdered cassia buds, and ginger root.

Chinese five spice powder is often worked in as a dry rub or in marinades for poultry, pork, and seafood. In Chinese cooking, five spice powder is often cooked in with stir-fried vegetables, beef stews and soups. The most common dish in China with five spice rub is the Cantonese roasted duck.

In Vietnam, this blended spice is used as a flavorful marinade for their broiled chicken dishes. Other international cuisines followed suit and the five spice powder made its way through Asian and American markets. Sometimes, the powder is offered on restaurant and diner tables in small shaker bottles to be used as a seasoning like salt and pepper.

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