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Ever wondered what's in Chinese 5 spice?

Updated: Apr 11, 2022

I love my spices and always have a jar of this in the cupboard. The jar I had was running low, so I put it on the shopping list but my usual supermarket didn’t have it? Hmmm, I know I am sure I can find a recipe, next question, do I have all the spices? I do! I hope you do too….

I use this to make a satay sauce that we have regularly and also add it to stir fries to perk them up a bit. Would love to know what you use it for.


· 2 tbsp ground cinnamon

· 1 tbsp fennel seed

· 6 star anise

· 2 tsp peppercorn

· 1 tsp whole clove


Toast the whole spices in a small pan until they are aromatic and have turned a shade or two darker. Don’t toast the ground cinnamon. Don’t be tempted to skip this stage, as it really enhances the flavours. My kitchen has an amazing smell right now!

Tip into a spice grinder (or use a pestle and mortar), and crush to a fine powder. Once to the right consistency, add the ground cinnamon and mix well. Store in a sealed jar for up to six months.

This makes enough to fill a small spice jar.

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