Making five spice powder is much easier than you think. It creates a superior spice mixture that is cheaper and makes your Chinese dishes immediately taste better.
Five spice powder is a must-have ingredient in a Chinese kitchen. This versatile spice mix is perfect for cooking stir-fry, marinade, sauces, and dry rubs. The powerful spice has a sweet and warm tone that immediately adds depth of flavor to any dish.
Many bottled five spice mixes from grocery stores have a pungent licorice flavor, which is the result of adding too much star anise. That’s why I prefer to make five spice powder at home, so I have total control of the flavor balance.
More importantly, making your own five spice powder from whole seeds or spices creates a superior taste. Whole spice tends to hold its flavor better than powder. You can further toast the spice to release it aroma and essential oils.
Once you have toasted the spices and ground them to powder, you will find the homemade five spice powder is very fragrant with an aroma resembling cooked meat. It tastes way better than the store bought one.
You can change the five spice powder slightly with your personal touch as well.
For example, you can blend in additional spices such as black cardamon pod, green cardamon pod, black peppers, dried ginger, or aged tangerine peel. Take note that, no matter which species you plan to add, the amount should be moderate and not overpower the main flavor profile.
You can store the homemade five spice powder in your drawer for about a month, before it starts to lose its potency. You can also store it in the fridge to prolong its lifespan. Once the flavor starts to fade, spend a few minutes making a new batch and you’ll be on your way to cooking delicious Chinese food!
- Add all the spices into a small pan. Roast over medium heat until fragrance is released. You should hear faint sizzling noises if you hold the pan close to your ear.
- Transfer the spices into a small bowl to cool.
- Once cooled down completely, transfer to a coffee grinder or use a mortar and pestle. Ground until it turns to fine powder. Transfer to an airtight jar and store in cool, dark place out of direct sunlight.