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What Is Chinese Five-Spice Powder?

Definition: Five-Spice Powder

A crucial component of Chinese cooking, five-spice powder (also known as Chinese five spice) is a mixture of ground spices that combine the five primary flavors of Chinese cuisine: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and pungent.

The five spices — cinnamon, cloves, star anise, Szechuan peppercorns, and either fennel seed or ginger — are employed based on the Chinese philosophy of balancing the yin and yang in food. The powder is used to flavor dishes from Cantonese roasted duck to beef stew.

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Join The Conversation
ChowMama-Stacie ChowMama-Stacie 6 years
We love Chinese Five Spice at my house. Michelle recently wrote a post on it (complete with a yummy 5-spice veggie stir fry recipe) on ChowMama. Check it out if you want more! http://www.chowmama.com/2009/06/08/dig-in-chinese-five-spice-chicken-veggie-stir-fry/
hanmeng hanmeng 6 years
Some people like it, but my Chinese wife (like her mother before her) never uses this.
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