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Do you know your five spices?

Updated: May 13, 2022

On my May menu, I prepared for you Chinese five spice beef and potatoes. It is a fragrant and rich Chinese take on our familiar beef steak and potatoes.

When talking about Chinese flavouring, many of you would think of Chinese five spice. Do you know what are the five spices? and how to use it?

There are actually different recipes of five spice powder in China, the most common one consists of ground star anise, cinnamon, white pepper, fennel seeds, and clove. Some recipes also include ginger, Sichuan pepper, black pepper or nutmeg, depending on what region of China it is from and what dish is being made.

Interestingly, within the most commonly used five spice recipe, only one spice, the clove is native Chinese, the rest have arrived in China in different periods in history. Chinese people have include these spices in their creation of new dishes and married them together to form such a signature Chinese flavour. How amazing that we human beings have always been learning from each other to better our lives. Are you also going to try my beef and potatoes dish this month and even try to use Chinese five spice in your cooking?

Go on, promise me that you will try. Just a little tip, five spice goes well with both pork and beef, can work as a marinate, or added flavour in stir fry, and is really good in stews. But we don't normally use it with lamb,

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