Chinese 5 Spice Recipe & Nutrition | Precision Nutrition's Encyclopedia of Food

Chinese 5 Spice

Chinese 5 Spice

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At a Glance

Chinese 5 Spice is a flavorful, aromatic mixture of five spices, which usually includes star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Szechuan pepper, and fennel seeds. Some formulas add ginger root, galangal, or other herbs and spices. The spices included in the mix are rich in antioxidants, and contain minerals such as copper, iron, and manganese. As the name suggests, Chinese 5 Spice is often used in Chinese cooking and other Asian cuisines. It makes an excellent dry rub or marinade for meat or tofu.

Overview

Chinese 5 Spice—as you can probably guess—is a mixture of five spices. It is frequently used in Chinese cooking, but may also appear in other Asian cuisines. It usually includes star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Szechuan pepper, and fennel seeds. Some formulas add ginger root, galangal, or other herbs and spices.

Legend has it that cooks invented this blend to encompass all five tastes—sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and pungent, hot, or spicy. Whether the story is true or not, there’s no denying the complex flavor and warm fragrance of the condiment. Chinese 5 Spice is especially tasty with roasted meats.

Identification

Chinese 5 Spice is usually ground into a fine texture and has a deep golden brown color, similar to cinnamon.

Nutrition Info

While you’re unlikely to eat enough Chinese 5 Spice to derive great nutritional benefits from it, the spices included in this mix are rich in antioxidants and are also a terrific source of minerals such as copper, iron, and manganese. For example, 100g of dry anise seeds contain 37.0mg or 462% of your daily required levels of iron.

Check out the individual spices in the list for more information about their health-giving properties.

Note: In traditional Chinese medicine, warming spices like 5 spice are believed to speed up metabolism and stimulate digestion.

Selection

Your best bet is to buy Chinese 5 Spice from a store that sells a lot of it (or makes its own mixture).

You can also make your own. Simply take:

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed, toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoon ground star anise
  • 1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns, toasted and ground

Mix together and store in an airtight container. Grinding your own spices ensures the freshest taste. You can use a clean electric coffee grinder for this job.

Storage

Keep Chinese 5 Spice in a sealed container at room temperature, away from heat. Like most dried spices, it will start to lose its best flavor after 6-8 months.

Preparation

Chinese 5 Spice makes a terrific marinade. Simply mix a few teaspoons into some oil and apply to meats or vegetables. Bake or grill.

Recipe: Chinese 5 Spice Chicken

Chinese 5 Spice

This recipe adds a punch of flavor to plain chicken. The finished product is delicious in sandwiches and salads.

Ingredients

chicken breast, boneless, skinless
4
garlic, crushed
1 clove
dark sesame oil
1 tbsp
white wine vinegar
1/4 cup
Chinese 5 spice
3 tsp
red chilli flakes
1 tsp
Salt
to taste

Directions

Prep Time: 5 minutes   Cook Time: 90 minutes   Yield: 4 chicken breasts

Take out a small baking dish and place the chicken breasts in it side by side. The dish should fit the four chicken breast fairly perfectly.

In a small mixing bowl, stir together all ingredients with the exception of the chicken.

Pour the contents of the mixing bowl over the chicken.

Cover the baking dish with tinfoil and place in fridge for 2-4 hours.

Remove the baking dish from the fridge and place it into preheated 350F oven. Bake for 1 to 1.5 hours or until meat thermometer reads 165-175F.

Remove from oven and add the cooked chicken to sandwiches, salads, veggies, etc.

Store leftovers in fridge.

Enjoy!

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At a Glance

Chinese 5 Spice is a flavorful, aromatic mixture of five spices, which usually includes star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Szechuan pepper, and fennel seeds. Some formulas add ginger root, galangal, or other herbs and spices. The spices included in the mix are rich in antioxidants, and contain minerals such as copper, iron, and manganese. As the name suggests, Chinese 5 Spice is often used in Chinese cooking and other Asian cuisines. It makes an excellent dry rub or marinade for meat or tofu.