Sometimes I get really annoyed by how expensive spice mixes can be. They are definitely convenient but marked up. So I’ve gotten into the habit of making my own for some of the easier ones. A very easy one to start with is Asian Five Spice. Easy because the clue is in the name. It only has five ingredients.
Another nice thing about making your own spice mix is that you can get the balance you like. We prefer spicy food so I use an equal ratio of szechwan peppercorns in my mix. Although a lot of places will recommend less peppercorns. Use what makes your taste buds happy.
I have a coffee grinder that I reserve just for blitzing my spice mixes. I did the cinnamon and whole star anise first because they are the biggest, and hardest to crush up. Then added in the rest. It’s a lot easier to get all of your spice powder out with a small brush so if you are heading down the make your own spice blend road I suggest getting one.
Storing is easy. Use any airtight container you have at hand, this could mean a mason jar or rubber maid container, or even a zip-lock bag. I used up the last of my star anise for this so I didn’t make a very large batch. If you don’t have whole star anise feel free to substitute in the seeds (as I clearly did). Use about a 1/4 tea spoon for every pod you are replacing. But as long as you have the proportions right you can make as much or as little as you want.
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 3-4 star anise pods
- 1/2 tsp of cloves
- 1 tsp of szechwan peppercorns
- 1 tsp of fennel seeds
- Blend all ingredients into a fine powder in a coffee grinder or blender.
- Store in an airtight container. Lasts for up to a year.
- Use in any asian inspired dish, best with Chinese cuisine.