Five Spice Powder

Called as the Wonder Powder in Chinese cuisine, five spice powder is used as a seasoning agent for meat and poultry. The theory behind the composition of the five spice powder is to blend in five flavors – salty, sweet, sour, bitter and pungent. It is also believed that that addition of five spice powder counter balances the heat of a dish not creating any discomfort after eating.


Aside from being taken into use as a spice rub, it is also added to the crust breading for fried foods. Five spice mixture is also used to season marinades.

This wonder powder is excellently suited to rice, meat, vegetables and any kind of stir fry. The five ingredients used in the making of five spice powder are star anise, fennel seeds, cloves, cinnamon and szechuan pepper. Few makers substitute cassia for cinnamon which imparts the same flavor. The five spice wonder adds a tasty delight to the recipes.

Though very popular in restaurant cooking, five spice powder is not very popular in Chinese households. This spicy delight is added as an essential condiment for fatty meats such as pork and ducks. It is a popular kitchen ingredient in Chinese and South Asian cuisines.

Nutritional Value

1. Five spice powder imparts the nutritional benefits of all its ingredients.
2. Fennel seeds have a rich antioxidant content strengthening the immune system.
3. Cinnamon helps lower cholesterol levels and fights cancer cells.
4. Clove is very effective preventing tooth cavity.
5. Star anise provides essential minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron.
6. Szechuan pepper is a rich source of essential oils that purify blood.

Did you know?

Five spice powder is a result of China’s attempt to produce a powder blending the five flavors.