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Five-spice mix

An ancient spice mix used in Chinese cooking that combines sweet cinnamon and cloves, fennel seeds and star anise, and tongue-tingling Sichuan pepper

  • Takes 5 mins
  • Makes 1 small jar
  • Easy
  • Makes 1 small jar
  • Easy


  • 2 tbsp cinnamon or 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tbsp fennel seed
  • 6 star anise
  • 2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tsp whole clove


  1. Toast the whole spices in a small pan until they are aromatic and have turned a shade or two darker. Don’t be tempted to skip this stage, as it really enhances the flavours.

  2. Tip into a spice grinder (or use a pestle and mortar), then add the ready-ground spices and dried herbs if required, and crush to a fine powder. Store in a sealed jar for up to six months.

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