WHAT IS CHINESE 5 SPICE?
This quick and delicious Asian spice blend doesn’t always use the same 5 spices. Traditionally the concept is that each of the five flavors are represented salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami. The classic recipe consists of cloves, star anise, cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorn, and fennel seeds. However ginger, nutmeg, tumeric or cardamom are also common substitutes. Popular as a spice rub in protein dishes (meats and seafood), the flavors mix remarkably well with most sweet or neutral marinades while still standing out in savory recipes. Check out 1 recipe here!
WHY IS CHINESE 5 SPICE GOOD FOR YOU?
Cinnamon and cloves are at the top of the list for their anti-inflammatory benefits. Fennel, peppercorn and anise have often been prescribed for digestive problems in homeopathic remedies.
WHEN IS CHINESE 5 SPICE IN SEASON?
Only dried spices, not fresh are used. So these ingredients are available year-round!
HOW SHOULD CHINESE 5 SPICE BE STORED?
Like with all dry spices store in a cool, dark place preferably air-tight.
WHY DOES CHINESE 5 SPICE HAVE MORE THEN 5 SPICES?
The blend is not named after the number of ingredients used. Rather it is meant to represent the 5 different elements of the universe. In food those are salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami. In a broader philosophical sense these are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.