Five-spice powder (五香粉) is a common ingredient in Chinese and Taiwanese cuisine. It encompasses all five tastes—sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami—and uses five different spices. This Asian seasoning is a mixture of star anise, cloves, Chinese cinnamon, Sichuan (Szechuan) peppercorns, and fennel seeds, and it’s easy to use at home.
You can use the five-spice powder in many different ways. In Chinese and Taiwanese cooking, it’s added to stew meat or poultry, incorporated into marinades, used as a spice rub for roasted foods, and seasons the breading for fried foods. Add this homemade spice mix to your cupboard and you’re sure to find lots of uses for it.