The 5 Greatest Chinese Five Spice Substitutes

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Do you have a bottle of Chinese five-spice powder on hand? If you haven’t heard of it, you may be wondering what it is and how to utilize it.

The five spices in Chinese five-spice powder are cloves, cinnamon, fennel, star anise, and Sichuan pepper.

It’s often used in savory meals including marinades, braised meats, and stir-fries.

Although the spices’ precise quantities vary depending on the manufacturer, Chinese five-spice powder is often a balanced combination of sweet and savory tastes.

If you’re seeking for a Chinese five-spice powder alternative, there are various possibilities available.

Garam masala, star anise, allspice, baharat, and zaatar are some of the replacements.

When replacing Chinese five-spice powder, start with less than the recipe calls for and add more to taste.

What is the Chinese Five Spice?

Chinese Five Spice is a spice mix used in Chinese cooking.

Cloves, cinnamon, fennel seed, Sichuan pepper, and star anise are common ingredients.

The spices’ characteristics vary depending on where the mix is used, but they are often selected for their ability to offer a balance of sweet, sour, bitter, and salty qualities.

Five spice is often used to season meat dishes, although it may also be used to season vegetables or rice.

When used in cooking, keep in mind that a little goes a long way.

An overabundance of Five Spice might result in an overly spicy meal.

Instead, start with a tiny quantity and add more as required.

Chinese Five Spice is a spice combination that every home chef should have in their cabinet because of its strong flavor and adaptability.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Chinese Five Spice

If you are short on Chinese five spices, there are a few common spices that may be used as a replacement.

These alternatives will not offer you an identical reproduction of the original spice mix, but they will give your food a comparable taste.

1 – Garam Masala

Garam Masala is a spice mixture from India.

Coriander, cumin, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg are common ingredients.

Although the precise components vary based on area and personal choice, these spices are often used in garam masala dishes.

The term translates to “hot spice combination,” which is used to impart heat to foods.

It does, however, give a broad spectrum of tastes, with each spice having a distinct taste and scent.

As a result, garam masala is a flexible spice that may be utilized in a variety of recipes.

A little garam masala may go a long way whether cooking a meal or just spicing up some rice.

2 – Star Anise

Star anise is a spice derived from the fruit of an evergreen tree.

The tree is native to China, and the spice has been used for millennia in Chinese cookery.

The taste of star anise is strong and unique, akin to licorice or fennel.

It is often used to season meats, soups, and sauces.

Star anise has recently gained popularity in Western cookery.

It is often used in gingerbread and other holiday baked items.

It may also be found in savory recipes like curries and stir-fries.

If you want to add a distinctive taste to your food, consider using star anise.

3 – Baharat

A Baharat is a Middle Eastern spice combination used to flavor a variety of foods.

In Arabic, the name Baharat means spice, and the mix often contains black pepper, cardamom, cloves, cumin, nutmeg, and paprika.

This spice mixture is used in a variety of cuisines, including Egyptian, Lebanese, Jordanian, Palestinian, and Turkish dishes.

Each culture has its own form of Baharat, and the spices may be tailored to personal preferences.

Baharat may be used to season vegetables, stews, and soups as well as meat preparations.

Try adding Baharat in your next recipe for an easy way to add flavor to your cuisine.

4 – Za’atar

Zaatar is an excellent spice to add to your spice collection if you’re seeking for something different.

Zaatar is a Middle Eastern spice mixture made out of oregano, thyme, sesame seeds, and sumac.

It has a moderate earthy taste with a citrus undertone that makes it adaptable enough to use in a variety of cuisines.

Zaatar is often used as a spice for grilled meats or vegetables, as an ingredient in hummus or yogurt, or as a topping for flatbreads.

It may also be used with olive oil and water to form a simple dipping sauce.

Zaatar will add flavor to your dishes whether you use it in cooking or as a table condiment.

5 – Allspice

The spice allspice is native to the Caribbean.

It gets its name from the fact that it tastes like a blend of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Allspice is often used in baking as well as savory recipes like jerk chicken.

Because allspice has a distinct taste, it may be difficult to incorporate into dishes.

Allspice may make a meal taste harsh if used in excess, so use it carefully.

Since a little allspice goes a long way, even a pinch may add a lot of flavor to your food.

Give allspice a try if you want to spice up your cooking repertoire.


Finally, these five Chinese Five Spice replacements may readily be utilized in any meal that calls for the original spice.

You may produce a taste that is comparable to the original while also enabling your meal to stand out by combining these spices.

With a little imagination, you may create the exact flavor balance that will delight your taste senses while leaving you wanting more.

Try one of these substitutions the next time you’re in the mood for something unusual.

You may be amazed at how tasty your meal can be.


What is Chinese 5 spice made of?

What is the composition of five spice powder? Star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorns, and fennel seeds make up the five spice combination. If you don’t have Sichuan peppercorns on hand, you may substitute black peppercorns for them; the flavor will be similar but not as hot.

Is allspice similar to Chinese 5 Spice?

Allspice has a warm, spicy-sweet taste that is comparable to five-spice powder, which is a mix of cinnamon, star anise, fennel, cloves, and ginger or pepper. Replace powdered allspice with equal amounts five-spice powder in a recipe—fantastic it’s for both savory and sweet uses.

Is Chinese 5 spice similar to garam masala?

Is Garam Masala the same as Chinese five-spice powder? No, garam masala and Chinese 5-spice are not the same thing. While they have a similar taste, these spice mixes are utilized in distinct cuisines. They both include fennel, cinnamon, and cloves, but the rest of the components vary.

Is Japanese 7 spice similar to Chinese 5 Spice?

Seven spice powder may seem to be a variation on Chinese five spice powder at first appearance, but they couldn’t be more unlike. Or, to put it another way, they’re as dissimilar as their national cuisines. Five spice, aromatic with sweet and spicy anise tastes, complements hearty Chinese braises and barbecues well.

Is there a substitute for 5 spice powder?

Garam Masala with Star Anise

Over importantly, the mixture tastes precisely like Chinese five spice. Assume a recipe calls for one teaspoon of Chinese five spice. In such scenario, combine 14 teaspoon star anise and 12 teaspoon Garam Masala and add it to your food as a great replacement.

What are the variations of Chinese 5 Spice?

It’s also utilized in Hawaiian and Vietnamese cooking. The five spice tastes (sweet, bitter, sour, salty, and savory) correspond to the five classical Chinese components.

What can I use instead of star anise Chinese five spice?

Cloves may be used in lieu of star anise since they provide sweetness as well as bitter qualities to meals. Cloves have a stronger taste than star anise, so use fewer of them.

What flavor is Chinese 5 spice powder?

Taste. Because of the star anise, five-spice powder has a characteristic licorice-like taste, with sweet and toasty notes from cinnamon and fennel. Cloves provide a cooling sensation, while Sichuan peppercorns provide a numbing and spicy flavor.

What flavor is Chinese 5 Spice?

Chinese Five Spice Powder is a spice blend that is said to provide the ideal balance of the five major tastes in Chinese (and other Asian) cooking: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and spicy.

What is the difference between Thai 7 spice and Chinese 5 spice?

To begin, Chinese five spice is of Chinese origin. Shichimi togarashi is a Japanese term for seven spice powder. Unlike Five Spice, the base of Seven Spice is made of of chilis, dried orange peel, sesame seed, dried ginger, seaweed, and Sichuan peppercorns.

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