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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.

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
ChowMama-Stacie ChowMama-Stacie 7 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 7 years
Some people like it, but my Chinese wife (like her mother before her) never uses this.
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