Jun 1, 2012

Five-Spice Blend

Five Spice Blend

I bought a blender. Yes, I really did. I know it was pathetic: a food blogger without something as trivial as a blender.

But, with the blender came a spice mill. It’s really a serious spice mill, too, that’s for sure. Been testing flavored salts and crazy spice mixes ever since I plugged it in.

And then I decided to make a fresh, home-made Chinese five spice mix and decided to replace the cloves with chili flakes. This is the first time ever I made it myself and I was blown away. This blend rocks my world.

Posting it now, because I’ll be making a pretty neat recipe with it this weekend. If it all pans out the way I hope, of course.



4 star anise
1 tbsp (scant) fennel seeds
1 tbsp Szechuan pepper
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes



This is such a fantastic combination of flavors. Warm, sweet and just spicy enough.
Five Spice Blend

You can do this with a spice mill, coffee mill or mortar and pestle. Just combine all the spices.
Five Spice Blend

You can replace the Szechuan pepper with normal peppercorns. I used these because they have a wonderful lemony flavor to them, which makes the spice blend all the more interesting.

Add the star anise and break the cinnamon in 3 parts.
Five Spice Blend

Pulse a few times. I like to grind my spices so that it’s mainly powder, but still keep little pieces of spice in there.
Five Spice Blend

I’m not a fan of pre made five-spice blend, but this is a whole different league.
Five Spice Blend

Five-Spice Blend
    4 star anise
    1 tbsp (scant) fennel seeds
    1 tbsp Szechuan pepper
    1 cinnamon stick
    1/2 tsp dried chili flakes

    Combine all spices and use a mortar and pestle, spicemill or coffeemill to grind them. You can replace the Szechuan pepper with regular peppercorns. Store in an airtight container.

Meal type: spice mixes
Servings: 3 tbsp
Copyright: © kayotickitchen.com

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    1. 1

      I only got a mixer at Christmas and a measuring jug three months ago!  I tell you, I had underestimated how good NOT having a mixer was for toning up my arms – bingo wings have emerged in full force since!

      Juls (Pepper and Sherry) on Jun 1, 2012 @ 2:14 pm Reply
    2. 2

      I am really debating if I will take the plunge and buy a food processor too.  I keep thinking that it will be another item that will take up space in my small kitchen.  I’ve also used a hand mixer for the last 33 years of marriage.  I think maybe a mixer would be the first order of business.  Oh what a dilemma I have.  The only thing I know for sure is that it all costs money.  If my husband gets wind of it he’ll think that he should buy something new too and I’ll find a new quad or something parked in the yard.  Let us know if you really love your new devise.

      Kim on Jun 1, 2012 @ 4:29 pm Reply
      1. I don’t think I could live without my food processor, but the things I really needed a blender for, he didn’t excel at. The spice mill is a huge bonus that you would actually expect to come with a food processor, not a blender.

        Keeping them both on the countertop now.

        I also bought a stand-mixer and must admit that I barely use it. Should’ve known better than to buy a stand-mixer when I seldom to never bake anything :)

        Kay on Jun 1, 2012 @ 5:26 pm Reply
    3. 3

      I bought Food processor, it didn’t come with grinder but with blender. … mai i know which one did you buy as i have to buy one! and i don’t many at media mart :(

      ash on Jun 1, 2012 @ 6:34 pm Reply
      1. My food processor came with a citrus press and a lot of discs, no blender attachment or anything. I was surprised I actually got a spice/coffeemill with a blender. 

        This is a Magimix Le Blender. So is my food processor. 

        Kay on Jun 1, 2012 @ 6:48 pm Reply
    4. 4

      Love that second picture :)

      Arrisje on Jun 2, 2012 @ 5:53 pm Reply
    5. 5

      Kay -can you buy cassia buds in Dutchland?

      Mark Preston on Jun 2, 2012 @ 6:58 pm Reply
      1. Now that you mention it, can’t say I’ve ever seen them around here.

        Kay on Jun 2, 2012 @ 7:29 pm Reply
    6. 6

      You will never guess my good fortune.  I was walking buy a garage sale on my way to A&W.  I quickly asked if they have a food processor for sale.  I bought one for $5.  I figured what a great way to see if I will get use out of one before taking a greater plunge.  I only came with the one blade that I would need to make some of my new recipes.  I am excited.  Boy it’s scary as to how little it takes to put a smile on my face.

      Kim on Jun 2, 2012 @ 10:23 pm Reply
    7. 7

      Your right Kay.
      Making your own Five-Spice Blend is so easy to do and the result will be vastly superior to most commercial brands, which I find too overwhelmed with anise.  I also find that most spice blends use the cheaper and more easily available black peppercorns instead of the proper Sichuan peppercorns. And you know that  Sichuan “peppercorns”are not even peppercorns, but dried outer pods of prickly ash fruits. So therefore you can’t replace them Kay!

      Like most people you concentrate on five kinds of spice: star anise, sichuan peppercorns, cinnamon and fennel. It seems that people take the “five” in “Five Spice” to mean a blend of five different spices. This is not entirely correct. The “five” in Five Spice actually refers to the balance of five basic elements: earth, fire, water, air, and metal.
      The Five Spice powder was originally used in Chinese medicine to restore the balance of the five elements in the Chi or the life energy in our bodies. So, besides the five basic spices, Five Spice powder may contain other spices such as coriandar seeds, cumin or anise seeds (instead of fennel seeds), black or green cardamom, and even your beloved nutmeg. :)

      In my own Five-Spice Blend, I started out with equal amount, by weight, of the five basic spices, though recently I’ve been using cumin seeds instead fennel seeds. I found that the mix of star anise, cinnamon and fennel seeds, all providing strong anise-y notes, became a little overpowering, so I opted for cumin seeds, which are very similar to fennel seeds but a little less anise-y and a bit more earthy. I also added coriandar seeds and (sometimes) cardamom to my blend.
      I recommend starting with whole spices if you can find them – ground spices lose their potency quickly, and you never know how old they’ve been loitering on the shelf. Starting with whole spices also allow you to dry roast them for a bit before grinding, which helps turn certain compounds in the spices more volatile, so your Five-Spice Blend ends up more fragrant and flavorful. On a dry pan over medium heat, roast each spice separately until just fragrant. They roast at different time so the easiest and safest thing to do is use a small pan and roast each one separately. Let the spices come back close to room temperature before grinding. 
      Oh, and if you wondering …. I use a heavy mortar and pestle – it takes a lot of elbow grease, I know.

      Well, we’ll have too see what kind of dish you made this weekend, but I’m hoping for: a crisp Indo/Chinese Pork Belly Recipe (Babi Pangang?) :D

      Erwin on Jun 3, 2012 @ 3:38 pm Reply
      1. For me it’s anise all the way. I find a five-spice blend without anise incredibly boring and bland.

        Your elements are a little off. The five elements the spice blend is based upon are: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Air is not an element.

        Oh wow, I really could have sworn I actually used whole spices in my mix. Of course I could be wrong :)

        Kay on Jun 3, 2012 @ 3:55 pm Reply
    8. 8

      hi I’m wondering if you’ve ever tried to make the nasi goring spice mix or also the bami goring spice mix ?

      Judy on Sep 2, 2015 @ 5:33 am Reply

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