Five-spice powder benefits and uses

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Five-spice powder Quick Facts
Name: Five-spice powder
Colors Deep golden brown
Shapes Powder form
Five spice powders is a combination of five species which involves cloves, star anise, Szechuan pepper, cinnamon and fennel seeds. But some formulas also add galangal, ginger root or other spices and herbs. It was created to enclose all five tastes such as sweet, bitter, sour, salty, spicy, hot and pungent. This spice tastes well with roasted meats. It is a mixture of five dried ground spices which is extensively used in Chinese cooking. Five spice powders are called ngh heung fan in Cantonese and wu xiang fen in Mandarin. Five spice powders are prevalent in Taiwanese and Chinese cuisine but is less commonly used in Arabic and Asian cookery. It is a common mix of cloves, star anise, Sichuan pepper, Chinese cinnamon and fennel seeds.

How to make Five spice powder?


  • 2 teaspoons Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 8 star anise pods
  • 1 tablespoon ground fennel
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


  1. In a dry frypan, roast two teaspoons of Szechuan peppercorns for three minutes.
  2. Using coffee grinder or pepper grinder, grind peppercorns with eight star anise pods.
  3. Strain ground spices in order to remove larger bits.
  4. Combine ½ teaspoon ground cloves, 1 tablespoon ground fennel seeds and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon.
  5. Grind till it becomes very fine powder.


Avoid too much consumption during pregnancy.

How to Eat         

  • It could be used with fatty meats such as duck, pork or goose.
  • It is also used in recipes for beef stew and Cantonese roasted duck.
  • Five spice powders are used as a marinade for making Vietnamese broiled chicken.
  • It is used for making cocktails.
  • Five spice powders go well with tofu and is one of the vital ingredients in pressed seasoned bean curd.
  • It is used in Chinese recipes for adding extra flavor.






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