Use of Chinese 5 Spice Powder

The Amazing FIVE Spice Powder

Chinese FIVE Spice Powder (五香粉) is a common ingredient in Chinese cuisine. This Asian seasoning is a mixture of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, pepper and fennel seeds. With its sweet spicy kick, the Chinese Five Spice Powder is often added into stewed meats, employed as marinades or as a rub for roasted food. 

Below are a few representative signatures that use Chinese Five Spice Powder for an added boost of flavour. 

1. Ngoh Hiang

Ngoh Hiang (五香) is a unique dish most commonly seen in Hokkien and Teochew cuisines. It is traditionally made from minced pork, shrimp and water chestnuts seasoned with Chinese Five Spice Powder. All the ingredients are then wrapped in dried beancurd skin and deep fried. 

Photo credit: Share Food Singapore

2. Bak Kwa

Bak Kwa or Rou Gan (肉干) are thinly barbecued meat slices made from ground pork or chicken. A well-made Bak Kwa should have a balance of sweet, savoury and smoky flavour Chinese Five Spice Powder is one seasoning used in making Bak Kwa.

Photo credit: Share Food Singapore

3. Peking Duck

Peking Duck (北京烤鸭) is a dish from Beijing, China that has been prepared since imperial times. The dish is characterised by serving the roasted whole duck that is only sliced in front of the diners by the chef, served together with ingredients like spring onion, cucumber and sweet bean sauce and wrapped with thin crepes. Its thin, crisp skin with authentic flavour comes from condiments like Chinese Five Spice Powder, soy sauce and honey.


Photo credit: Medium

4. Cow Ear Cookie

Cow Ear Cookie aka Ear Lobe Biscuit (牛耳饼) is a delicious savoury biscuit which is also a favourite childhood snacks. It gets its name from its appearance as it is shaped like an ear. Thin, crispy and fragrant, it derives its fragrance from Chinese Five Spice Powder too

Photo credit: Open Rice

5. Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice

One signature you must have tried when visiting Taiwan is Braised Pork Rice (Lu Rou Fan- 卤肉饭) made from Braised pork belly sits atop white rice, its savoury-sweet-umami flavour is super comforting and satisfying to eat. By the way, any authentic version will not miss out the use of spices like garlic, ginger and Chinese Five Spice Powder

Photo credit: The Woks of Life

6. Char Siew (Barbecued Pork)

Char Siew (叉烧) is a popular way to prepare barbecued pork in Cantonese cuisine. It is the main ingredient of Char Siew Bun (Steamed pork bun) and a great accompaniment to Wonton noodles. The essence of its sweet-savoury flavour comes from Char Siew sauce, prepared from ingredients like fermented red bean curd, maltose, soy sauce, white pepper and Chinese Five Spice Powder.

Photo credit: Huang Kitchen

7. Glutinous Rice Dumplings

Glutinous rice dumplings (Zongzi 粽子) is a traditional treat during Duanwu festival. A common variety has savoury fillings of pork, shiitake mushrooms and salted egg yolk. To enhance the flavour of the pork fillings, marination is often with condiments like Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, salt and Chinese Five Spice Powder before sauteing. It is then wrapped into bamboo leaf along with other ingredients.

Photo credit: Huang Kitchen

Though Chinese Five spice powder is typically used in Chinese savoury dishes, it is a great seasoning that you can use in bakery goods for a unique flavour. Check out the recipe of Chewy 5 Spice Ginger Molasses Cookie by our in house chef: Recipe link

Check out Simply Natural Organic Chinese 5 Spice Powder!




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