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Forum Thread - 5 spice?

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allison, on 27/4/2006 11:13pm

Hi we are making a recipe that calls for-5 star spice. What is it? and can we make it our self? thakyou!!

Mamta, on 28/4/2006 06:32am

Hello allison

Do you mean 5 Star? This is actually a Chinese spice mix, with star anise, Szechwan peppers, fennel, cloves, and cinnamon. Sometimes, it also contains ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ginger powder, and even liquorice.

For Indian cooking, five spice could mean Garam Masala, although I have never heard it reffered to as '5 spice' before. It contains mainly 5 spices; cinnamon, brown/black cardamoms, bay leaves, black peppercorns and cloves, all ground together. It may contain other ingredients too.

Hope this is what you are looking for?


AskCy, on 28/4/2006 02:31pm

There's nothing I find more annoying than when a recipe says add "spice mix" or use "curry powder" or add "garam masala" without any explaination of what the mixes are (unlike this site where you get told :-) )

Then again maybe when chefs on television are making something and say use any fresh herbs you have... So making a tomato sauce with say lots of basil in it will give you something Italian in taste but suppose all you had was fresh Sage.. its going to taste like stuffings ....

I have some Chinese Five Spice mix and its got Cinnamon, clove, Star Anise, Fennel and pepper.. (not my own mix, but it is very similar to our local Chinese takeaway curry sauce smell..its kind of a sweet spicy smell that could easily be used in baking cakes..)

Mamta, on 28/4/2006 04:12pm

Five Spice mix; Yes it does have star anise. I forgot to type that in Steven!

Fennel is very similar to liquorice in smell.

I will look forward to hearing how your spinach and coconut dish comes out.


AskCy, on 28/4/2006 05:26pm

Star anise, fennel both have that aniseed / licorice smell flavour.. but slightly different to each other.

As for the spinach and coconut, that my be some time coming.. as theres only me that likes spinach(in any great quantity)

AskCy, on 29/4/2006 03:17pm

As I've just been shopping (well about an hour ago)and there was a pack of organic young spinach leaves jumping about on the shelf shouting "buy me, buy me"...

looks like it happened sooner than I thought...(see the other thread "Elderfield Spinach")

onlytaste, on 2/5/2006 11:22am

It could be panch puran as I read that panch means five and it is mainly used in Bengal cooking.

Mamta, on 2/5/2006 01:23pm

Yes, it could be Panch pooran or panch phoran, but I have never heard of it referred to as 'five spice'. Even Garam Masala

is not referred to as five spice in Indian cuisine, as far as I know.


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