Spice Corner: Chinese Five Spice Powder

Spice Corner: Chinese Five Spice Powder

By Megan Barber, Wellness Buyer, Co-op Owner

Chinese Five Spice Powder is a blend of warm, spicy flavors that can be added as a rub to most meats, incorporated into marinades, stir fries, cookies, pancakes, breads, and more! You could even make a seasoning salt by dry roasting common salt with five spice powder under low heat in a dry pan until fragrant and well mixed. There are many variants to the five spices, but the most common combination features star anise, clove, cinnamon, fennel, and a form of pepper. Other ingredients can include ginger, nutmeg, turmeric, licorice, or cardamom.

Chinese Five Spice Marinated Pork
Yields 25 appetizer portions


  • 4 pounds pork loin, trimmed and cut into thin slices
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup vinegar or cooking sherry
  • 1/4 cup Chinese Five Spice
  • 4 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons fresh garlic, finely minced
  • 4 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


Mix all of the ingredients, except the pork, in a bowl until well combined. Add the pork and refrigerate airtight for several hours or overnight. Mix several times to keep all marinating. Bring to room temperature before grilling. (If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for a couple hours before grilling to prevent burning.) Thread pork slices onto skewers and grill to desired doneness.


Chinese Five Spice Almond Cookies


  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup blanched roasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup natural evaporated cane juice sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Combine both flours, almonds, butter, sugar, five spice powder, salt and almond extract in the food processor. Pulse until crumbs and then mix  until ball is formed. Roll small pieces of dough into balls, place an inch apart on cookie sheet, and flatten slightly. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cookies are firm. Cool the cookies and then dust with powdered sugar if desired.

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