A simple authentic recipe for Chinese Five Spice that takes 5 minutes from start to finish! Use this recipe in Authentic Szechuan Sauce, Szechuan Eggplant,  Szechuan Tofu, Vietnamese Vermicelli Bowls and Lightning Speed Photon Soup! Video.

A simple authentic recipe for Chinese Five Spice that takes 5 minutes from start to finish! 

Origin of Chinese Five Spice

Interestingly, Chinese Five Spice is based on the five elements – fire, water, wood, earth and metal. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the five elements are manifested in different parts of the body and when there are imbalances in these elements, illness can result. For thousands of years,  herbs and spices have been used to restore balance in the body and that is why Chinese five-spice powder came to be.

Chinese Five Spice | 30-second video!


What spices are in Chinese Five Spice?

The ingredients and amount of spices vary greatly from region to region and even from household to household depending on personal tastes and preference, but the most common ingredients are:

  1. Star Anise
  2. Fennel Seeds
  3. Szechuan Peppercorns ( or regular peppercorns)
  4. Whole Cloves
  5. Cinnamon Stick


How do you make Chinese Five Spice?

Place all the spices in a spice or coffee grinder and grind until smooth.

No need to toast the spices first if in a hurry, but of course if you have time, toasting will elevate! Place in an airtight spice jar and that is it!

So easy!

A simple authentic recipe for Chinese Five Spice that takes 5 minutes from start to finish!  #fivespice #chinese #spice

Enjoy the incredible aroma.

A simple authentic recipe for Chinese Five Spice that takes 5 minutes from start to finish!  #fivespice #chinese #spice

Store in an airtight spice jar for up to 6 months for the best flavor.

So easy and so much better than store-bought!

Use this authentic Chinese Five Spice in:

  1. Authentic Szechuan Sauce
  2. Szechuan Eggplant 
  3. Five Spice Pulled Pork Tacos with Asian Slaw
  4. Tea Smoked Five Spice Salmon 
  5. Szechuan Tofu and Veggie Stir-fry
  6. Burmese Chicken (or Tofu)  and Veggies 
  7. Lighting Speed Photon Soup
  8. Vietnamese Beef and Green Papaya Salad
  9. Vietnamese Vermicelli Bowls 
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A simple authentic recipe for Chinese Five Spice that takes 5 minutes from start to finish!  #fivespice #chinese #spice

Chinese Five Spice Powder Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 34 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 2
  • Total Time: 7 minutes
  • Yield: ¼ cup 1x
  • Category: Spice blend
  • Method: Blend
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Diet: Vegan


Here’s a simple authentic recipe for Chinese Five Spice powder that can be made in 5 minutes flat. Fragrant and flavorful.




Toast any dry whole spices in a dry skillet, until fragrant, 2-3 minutes.

Place all ingredients in a spice grinder (or coffee grinder)  and grind until smooth.

Smell the goodness.

Store in a sealed, airtight spice jar -and for best flavor use within 6 months.

Makes ¼ cup.


Lightly toasting the whole seeds/pods in a dry skillet will create a more fragrant, intense flavor.

In a pinch you could sub 1 tablespoon anise seeds, but it won’t be quite the same flavor.


  • Serving Size: 2 teaspoons
  • Calories: 14
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 2.4 mg
  • Fat: 0.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3 g
  • Fiber: 1.7 g
  • Protein: 0.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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  1. It would have been helpful to put the tip about toasting the ingredients before the rest of the instructions. It smells really good, though.

  2. Just made this mix all from whole spices. I added a bit more cinnamon than the recipe called for.

    Going to try coating some chicken drumsticks with the freshly made five spice, peanut oil, garlic, salt, a little brown sugar and baking them.

  3. I love this mix. I use as is. Don’t be afraid to really pack it on! I live in an apartment building and I got a lot of knocks at the door when I was cooking a roasted chicken. Oil, kosher salt and lots of this five spice. WOW!! I also make a sorta Jerk seasoning by blending the five spice with lime ginger habanero and all spice. Slap it on some chicken and put your stretchy pants on!!If I’m ever asked, this is what I want for my last meal. LOL

  4. Haven’t made it yet but will definitely use it. I was looking for five spices and couldn’t find the brand I usually bought, I happily bought a jar when I found it in a grocery store in my local chinatown. That was shortlived when I read the ingredients as it only contained white pepper, msg and wheat. So yes, I’m happy to find a recipe to make this myself.

  5. Hi Sylvia,
    Lovely recipe! I tried this one (and some of your other recipes – f.e.ginger+miso tofu is gorgeous :)). I love cooking and cook practically every meal myself. Your website was a real treat to find! Thank you for sharing your skills with us.

  6. Did everything by the book and there is far to much cloves in this and it doesn’t taste like any 5 spice I’ve ever had I think you need to have another look as the ingredients are not right

  7. I had to use the normal peppercorn substitution. Still tasty! Tonight I taught my little chefs to do it. I say little but they’re 19 and 17.

  8. Brilliant. Made very quickly which was necessary as I was about to stir-fry! Delicious addition. Saved me. Thanks.

  9. I added some chili pepper flakes and my own spices for five spice. It was amazing. The dough was perfect. My meat loving boyfriend was in love with it too!!

  10. Checked out the price at our local rip off store and it was over six bucks. I had all the spices in my spice rack. I think it cost me about 20 cents and it has such a wonderful taste and smells so good
    Nakusp, B.C. Canada

  11. Adore 5 spice…thanks for recipe,always bought shop bought,but seeing how simple it was,and the smell is amazing.


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