Our Chinese Five Spice powder is a convenient seasoning for Chinese cuisine, including Cantonese cuisine, from our own blend.
Chinese Five Spice incorporates the five basic flavours of Chinese cooking sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, and salty. It consists of China Tung Hing cinnamon (actually a type of cassia), powdered cassia buds, powdered star anise and anise seed, ginger root, and ground cloves. Another recipe for the powder consists of huajiao (Szechuan pepper), bajiao (star anise), rougui (cassia), cloves, and fennel seeds. It is used in most recipes for Cantonese roasted duck, as well as beef stew.
The formulae are based on the Chinese philosophy of balancing the ying and yang in food. A pinch of the powder goes a long way.
Although this spice is used in restaurant cooking, many Chinese households never use it in day-to-day cooking. In Hawaii some restaurants have it on the table.
Although the exact origins of five-spice powder are lost to history, there is some thought that the Chinese were attempting to produce a “wonder powder” encompassing all of the five elements. Then again, it’s possible that a cook accidentally stumbled upon this particular combination of spices, and realised its power to enliven the blandest dish. Whatever the case, there is no doubt that five-spice powder is unique.