Chinese 5 Spice Powder

A seasoning mix that is considered to be the perfectly balanced combination of the five key flavors in Chinese (and other Asian) cooking:  sweet, sour, bitter, salty and spicy.


  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon crushed anise seed or 1 star anise, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed fennel seed or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (or 1/4 teaspoon Szechuan pepper)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


  1. Mix all ingredients together. Store in a covered container.


Should you use ginger or fennel? It depends. There are several versions of Chinese Five Spice Powder recipes out there. When I’m making sweet dishes, I tend to use the ginger to bring out the sharpness of its flavor. When I’m using it on meat dishes, I tend to mix in the fennel. Both with work fine.


Keywords: chinese five spice powder, spices, how to make chinese spices,