Chinese five spice is an exotic and aromatic blend of sweet and somewhat pungent flavors. This traditional blend of spices are mainly cinnamon, fennel, ginger, all spice, anise seeds, cloves,and licorice root. Of course, there are many different versions of this oriental mix; however, the spices mentioned are predominately utilized in order to give dishes a boost to them.
The Chinese cuisine is a very popular one in restaurants. And, one great way to enjoy this at home is to incorporate five spice in your cooking. It will provide a mouthwatering and succulent taste to any dish Because Chinese five spice is quite potent, it is imperative to use this sparingly in any dish. A little amount goes a long way. This seasoning can be found on most ethnic section of any big grocery store. Or, a quick trip to a Chinese market will do the trick.
One great way to cook with Chinese five spice is to add it to braised chicken. It is best to use the dark portions of the chicken with bone-in. The legs and thighs are just about perfect for this succulent meal. Season chicken pieces with crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Add a pinch of five spice seasoning to chicken pieces. Add a sprinkle of oil to a sturdy pot that can be used in both oven as well as on top of the stove. Remove garlic from chicken and thoroughly dry off chicken pieces with paper towel or a clean cheese cloth.
Proceed to sear or brown chicken pieces on both sides over medium heat. Make sure not to crowd the pot so as to prevent steaming. Remove chicken from pot and set aside. Add chopped onions, celery, thyme, escallion and any additional seasoning as desired. Cook ingredients until they become translucent. Then, add low sodium chicken broth with a mix of tap water. Place back the chicken pieces in pot and cover. Continue to cook on low to medium heat until done. Serve your Chinese five spice chicken over a fluffy bed of rice along with steamed broccoli.
Pork leg is fairly inexpensive compared to other meats. This piece of meat is just what the chef orders. And, what better way to partake of this pork leg than to add Chinese five spice seasoning. Marinade this for overnight or twenty-four hours in order to allow seasoning and spices to be distributed properly throughout the meat. The food processor is a great help for this dish. If not, the blender will do the work as well. Dice or mince onions, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Add a drizzle of oil to ingredients along with Chinese five spice seasoning. Poke a few holes in pork with the tip of knife and insert prepared marinade. Make sure to rub over surface of pork.
In roasting pan add roughly chopped root veggies like onions, carrots, etc. Season veggies along and make sure to added just a pinch of five spice seasoning. Add a little liquid in pan and place pork leg on top of veggies. Roast in a heated oven until the flesh falls off from the bone. Serve Chinese five spice roasted pork with mashed sweet and Irish potatoes along with green beans.
Another ideal way to use Chinese five spice is on seafood. Season shrimp with salt and pepper, and garlic along with a pinch of five spice seasoning. Stir-fry onions until they become softened. Add chopped tomatoes and season along. Toss in shrimp and cook over low heat for approximately two to three minutes. Add few chopped olives and capers to shrimp dish. Serve Chinese five spice shrimp over a fluffy bed of Chinese noodles or any pasta. Garnish with chopped chopped herb.
Salmon or any fish is also a delicious way to indulge in this exotic spice. And, a quick and easy way to cook this is to broil same. Serve with a warm couscous or barley salad for supper or brunch.
Chinese five spice seasoning is very versatile and is easy to incorporate in many everyday dishes. Don’t be afraid to add it to a vegetable stir-fry or a hearty vegetable soup with Chinese noodles. This oriental seasoning might be just be what you need to put a delicious spin on your dishes.