How to Make Chinese 5-Spice Powder

Chinese 5-spice powder-side viewI’m so excited to share with you today how to make the authentic Chinese 5-spice powder.  After having a conversation with my neighbor and friend Willow @willcookforfriends.com,  she encouraged me to write a post about it.

As Willow and I drove by our local Asian grocery store one day,  I complained that I  could never find a good quality, authentic Chinese 5-spice powder in the stores.  Do you feel the same way? For some reason, the ratio of the 5 different spices is never quite right.  It just doesn’t taste the same as those I grew up with.  Thanks to Willow’s suggestion, we are going to make a homemade Chinese 5-spice powder with that authentic flavor I remember.  It only takes you 5 minutes to make it, my friends!

Chinese 5-spice powder-top view

The best way to make the Chinese 5-spice powder is to start with whole spices instead of 5 individual powders.  Powders usually lose their best flavors after a few months on the shelf.  You have to use a lot more to get the same strength of flavors.  Using  freshly ground powder from whole spices is the best way to go.

Here are the 5 spices ingredients:

Cinnamon bark (10 grams)

White peppercorn (20 grams)

Star anise (20 grams)

Fennel seeds (10 grams)

Cloves (6 grams)

Chinese 5-Spice Powder Ingredients

You need to use white peppercorn instead of Szechuan peppercorns to make it authentic. You may see most recipes out there are using Szechuan peppercorns instead of white peppercorn.  Szechuan peppercorns give the powder a stronger numbing taste on your tongue, while white peppercorn has much more pungent taste.  It’s very different.

How to Make Chinese 5-Spice Powder-ingredient cinnamon sticks

The ratio is another key in making the 5-spice powder.  Some of my store-bought ones have a much stronger smell of cinnamon.  But if you follow the ratio listed above, you will be able to tell the differences when you add it to your Chinese recipes.  If you don’t use 5-spice very often, I would suggest your to make half amount of what I listed.

Chinese 5-Spice Powder-ingredients in coffee grinder

These whole spices can be ground in a coffee grinder easily.  I have an extra coffee grinder in my kitchen that I use only to grind spices.  If you only have one coffee grinder, you can grind some roasted white rice to remove/clean up the spice residues after grinding the spices.

Chinese 5-spice powder-in coffee grinder

This homemade Chinese 5-spice powder is ultra-fresh.  I guarantee you this will be the best 5-spice powder you’ve ever had and better than any store-bought ones.

Chinese 5-spice powder-closeup view

How to Make Chinese 5-Spice Powder
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Tools: Kitchen scale, coffee grinder, pastry brush
Author:
Recipe type: Spice Mix
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 70 grams
Ingredients
  • 10 grams Cinnamon barks
  • 20 grams White peppercorn
  • 20 grams Star anise
  • 10 grams Fennel seeds
  • 6 grams Cloves
Instructions
  1. Break the cinnamon bark and star anise into smaller pieces by hand. Place all ingredients into a coffee grinder and grind into fine powder.

 

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