What is Chinese Five Spice powder?
Mainly used in the red-cooking technique, Chinese Five Spice Powder is a traditional spice used in many Chinese dishes. The spice is sold-year round and considered “the best-known Chinese spice mixture” that combines the five following spices to balance the yin and yang.
The five-spice powder is a blend of ground spices shown as a brown powder. These spices generally include cinnamon, cloves, star anise, Szechuan peppercorns, and either fennel seed or ginger. In Chinese cooking, the spice blend is used for flavoring, braising roasted meat, fish, and poultry dishes. The five-spice blend can also be utilized in numerous marinades or rubs.
Where did the Five Spice powder originate from?
The Five Spice Powder was used as a traditional medicine to balance a person’s yin and yang. The number five associates with healing properties in Chinese Culture. This ideology has been implemented both in the Chinese and Taiwanese cultures and has also considered in other cultures in Asia.
In the world of cooking, the number five brings balance to the dish’s properties. This includes the taste and texture to balance the yin and the yang.
What is the Taste of Chinese Five Spice Powder?
The flavor of this spice is described as having a distinct licorice-like flavor due to the star anise. It also has a sweet/warm flavor from cinnamon and fennel. The cloves add a sensation of cooling in the mouth while the Schezuan peppercorns add a kick to the spice.
Each ingredient in the blend has its part to play and especially in more detail.
The Cinnamon is the “sweet” part of the blend. Unlike sugar, the cinnamon has a hint of spice to it. Many five-spice blends in the Chinese Cuisines do call for cinnamon or cassia which is a cousin to cinnamon.
The Schezuan peppercorn part of the blend is not a spice. It’s a berry that’s a reddish-brown that comes from the ash bush. It’s the fiery part of the blend that gives it the right kick for many traditional Chinese dishes.
The Ground Cloves of the blend has a sweet flavor. Star Annise is another component but it isn’t as sweet. Fennel is another sweet component, except for not having the licorice-tasting component.
Try the Chinese Five Spice
Usually, when using the five-spice blend in different dishes, it is used sparingly due to the strong flavoring/spices it contains. One example of it being used in a traditional Chinese dish would be the five flower pork. This is a traditional dish using pork belly, marinating it in the five-spice blend, then steaming it along with other vegetables and seasonings.
Try our blend here.