AFC 5 SPICE – HOW TO MAKE
All you need is an electric coffee bean grinder and 5 spices. 5 Spice is somewhat like curry. Everybody who uses it has their own combination and amounts of spices they prefer. This is mine! Hope you like it!
Makes a little more than 1/4 c.
the equivalent of 5 whole dried stars of anise
3 rounded t. whole cloves
2 inch long cinnamon stick, broken into small pieces
2 t. previously finely ground fennel seed
1 t. previously ground black pepper
Place stars of anise, cloves and cinnamon bits into well of clean coffee bean grinder. Process till crumbly, then till as fine as you can get it, turning unit off every 15 seconds or so to make sure it doesn’t overheat.
Stir up from bottom, then add ground fennel and ground black pepper and reprocess again till as smooth as it can get.
Transfer to covered spice jar and store at room temperature.
Many years ago I bought some Chinese Five Spice at an Asian Oriental market. I used it, didn’t like it and never used it again. Till now.
Steve suggested I make my own. I did. Now I like it – my way of course. I’m not sure what spices were in the original spice I bought so long ago, but the star anise was overpowering and the fragrance and flavor actually made me a little nauseated. I like licorice and fennel so didn’t know what they put in it that was offensive. Anyway, it doesn’t matter. I found my own combination that works for me.
Traditionally Chinese Five Spice was used in animal meat dishes, probably to disguise the flavor of the bad meat. It’s not that amenable to veggie dishes. I did however make a tomato bean soup using my version of the spice and I liked it.
Use sparingly till you know how it flavors a dish. Too much and the dish gets ruined. Rubbing it on meat and then grilling it doesn’t make much difference because a lot of it gets burned off. Since we don’t cook with animals, we use the spice combination more judiciously with no one spice overpowering any of the others.