10 best Chinese 5 spice substitutes | you must try

Five spice is a popular mixture widely used in Chinese dishes, and you must love the taste.

However, if your kitchen does not contain the mixture, you can substitute the five-spice with a different mixture like Garam masala, Baharat, and many more.

To know the exact procedure for use and the amounts of ingredients required to maintain the flavor of your dish. Keep reading to find out.

What is Five-Spice Mixture?

Five-spice is a blend of spice that are commonly used in Chinese cooking. It usually consists of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, fennel seeds, and Sichuan peppercorns.

The precise mixture varies depending on the recipe or region that you are using. The spice can be ground or left whole, depending on your preference.

Five-spice adds a delicious and distinct flavor to meats, noodles, soups, and stir fry dishes. Because of its strong taste, it should be used sparingly when cooking. A tiny bit can reach a long way!

The origin of the five spice is not known for sure. Nevertheless, it’s believed to have originated in China. It has been used in Chinese cooking for centuries and has become a staple ingredient in many Asian cuisines.

What is the Chinese 5 spice made of?

Chinese 5 spice made of 5 secret ingredients are

  • · Star anise
  • · Cloves
  • · Chinese cinnamon
  • · Sichuan pepper
  • · Fennel seeds

What flavor is the Chinese 5 spice?

Basically, the Chinese 5 spice is a blend of five different spices, which are cinnamon, cloves, star anise, fennel seeds, and Szechuan peppercorns.

The flavor is complex and aromatic and tends to be used in dishes with strong flavors like Duck or Pork. Also, it can be added to marinades for meats and grilled veggies.

5 spice is used a lot in Chinese cooking and can add a delicious depth of flavor to your meals.

It can be readily seen in most grocery stores, but if you don’t have any on hand, you could try making your own by mixing together cinnamon, cloves, star anise, fennel seeds and Szechuan peppercorns.

What can I substitute for Chinese 5 spice powder?

1. Allspice – Best substitute for 5 Spice

Allspice is a spice made from the dried berries of the allspice tree. It has a distinctive flavor that is a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

Allspice is used in many dishes, including pies, curries, and pickling mixtures. It can also be made into a tea and added to beverages.

There are many ways to use allspice in cooking. It is usually used to replace cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg because it has similar flavors.

This makes it popular in recipes such as pies and curries, where these other spices would typically be used. Allspice is also used in pickling mixtures and to make a distinctive tea.

Allspice berries can be purchased fresh or dried in specialty food stores or online. They are typically ground into a powder to release their flavor before being added to recipes.

When using allspice, it is important to use only a small amount at first, as its flavor can be quite strong. Allspice can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to six months.

substituting allspice for chinese five spice powder will give you a similar flavor profile but with a slightly sweeter taste

Allspice is also easy to find and relatively inexpensive, making it an excellent choice for anyone searching to add a new spice to their kitchen.

Substituting allspice for Chinese five-spice powder will give you a similar flavor profile but with a slightly sweeter taste.

Allspice is made from dried berries and has woody, peppery flavors that are slightly sweet and spicy.

If you’ve never attempted this spice earlier, start by using just a little bit until you get a feel for how it tastes. Like all other spice, you can use allspice in both sweet and savory dishes!

You can use allspice in everything from roasted vegetables and marinades to soups and stews, so be sure to experiment with adding it to different types of dishes.

As with any spice, the amount you use will depend on your taste preferences. If you like a more noticeable flavor, add a little bit more allspice to your dish. Otherwise, start with just a small amount and taste as you go to see if it needs more.

Remember, the most important thing when substituting allspice for Chinese five-spice powder is to test with various amounts until you discover what works best for your particular recipe.

With a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to use allspice in place of Chinese five-spice powder like a pro!

2. Use garam masala instead of the Chinese 5 spice.

Garam masala is a very common spice blend that is used in Indian cooking. It is made from a combination of various spice and herbs, such as cumin seeds, coriander seeds, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods and bay leaves.

It has a powerful aroma and taste, which can add an extra layer of flavor to your dishes. It is added to curries, marinades and stews at the end of the cooking process, just before serving.

Garam Masala is a blend of powdered spice common in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. The word garam refers to “hot,” while masala simply means “mixture.”

There’s no one recipe for garam masala, as the ingredients and ratios vary according to the region and family tradition.

However, most blends will typically include some combination of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin and pepper.

Garam masala is used to add flavor and warmth to dishes like curries, rice and vegetables. It can be utilized as a dry rub for meat or fish or added to soups and stews. While garam masala is traditionally made with whole spice that are toasted and ground, many modern recipes call for pre-ground spice.

If you’re curious about creating your own homemade garam masala blend, here is one simple recipe to try:

  • 1/2 cup whole coriander seeds
  • 1/4 cup cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp cardamom pods, seeded and husked
  • 6 cloves (peel them first!)

Put all of the mentioned ingredients in a dry skillet over medium heat. Stir continuously to prevent burning.

When the spice begin to lightly toast, remove them from the heat and transfer them to a spice or coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle. Grind until they are finely ground, then transfer your garam masala to an airtight container for storage.

Garam masala is a delicious way to add flavor and warmth to dishes, so why not give it a trial in your own kitchen?

Add this Garam Masala into different meat dishes, vegetable curry, lentils and so on.

Read More- Best Substitution for Garam Masala

3. Fennel seeds + Sichuan peppercorn mixture were used to replace the Chinese 5 spice.

A mixture of fennel seeds with Sichuan peppercorn is a great way to add a unique spice to replace the Chinese five spice in the recipe calls for it from stir fry to noodles. While five spice has a quite strong flavor, Sichuan peppercorn has a fresh and clean taste.

Take 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds and 2 to 3 Sichuan peppercorns and blend them into fine powder.

The best part of using this spice blender is that it is easily available, and find the nearest store. Use a 1:1 ratio for any recipe.

4. Baharat – Suitable Chinese 5 Spice Substitute

If you’re out of five spice and need a substitute, try using Baharat. It’ll deliver your dish a similar flavor to five-spice.

Baharat is a spice blend used extensively in Middle Eastern cuisine. It typically includes pepper, cardamom, cloves, cumin, nutmeg, and paprika. Some versions also include cinnamon, coriander, and sumac.

Baharat is used to season lamb, chicken, beef, fish, and rice dishes. It’s also generally utilized to flavor soups, stews, marinades, and sauces.

Baharat has become popular all over the world due to its complex and flavorful flavor profile. It is prized for its ability to enhance other flavors while remaining very subtle on its own.

If you are a fan of Middle Eastern cuisine, then you will likely love the taste and versatility of baharat. Whether you’re looking for new ways to season your favorite dishes or simply want to experience a unique flavor profile, this blend is sure to please.

5. Pumpkin Pie spice

Basically, Pumpkin pie spice is a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves that is used to flavor many pies, including pumpkin pies. It is also used in other desserts, such as cakes, cookies and even some savory dishes.

The spice in pumpkin pie spice can vary depending on the region or country. In the United States, most pumpkin pie spice blends consist of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Cloves may also be used in some cases.

Pumpkin pie spice is certainly popular in North America and many other countries, but it has its origins in Europe. It was originally used to flavor savory dishes like stews and casseroles.

However, as pies and other desserts became more popular in the early 20th century, pumpkin pie spice began to find its place as an essential spice for these dishes.

Pumpkin pie spice has a warm and slightly spicy flavor that is commonly associated with autumn and Thanksgiving. It is most often used in pumpkin pies and other types of desserts. it is also used for substituting sambar masala.

However, it can also be used to flavor savory dishes like soup, chili or even roasted vegetables.

Overall, pumpkin pie spice is a versatile and delicious spice blend that can be used in a wide variety of culinary applications.

When substituting pumpkin pie spice for five-spice powder, use the same amount called for in the recipe. The flavors will be slightly different, but the overall taste will be similar.

6. Za’atar 

Zaatar is another good substitution for Chinese 5 spice. Za’atar is a popular herb in Middle Eastern cuisines used in cooking and seasoning. Where it is used to add a subtle flavor and aroma to dishes such as hummus, falafel, tabbouleh salad, shakshuka, yogurt dips, and grilled meats.

It has been a versatile condiment for centuries. This fragrant spice blend is made from dried herbs such as oregano, thyme, and marjoram, which are then mixed with toasted sesame seeds, salt, and sumac.

Za’atar has a slightly sour, earthy flavor that pairs well with grilled meats, vegetables, and flatbreads. It can also be utilized as a dry rub for roasting chicken or fish. For best results, add za’atar at the end of cooking so that the spice can retain their flavor and aroma.

7. Bafat- Popular 5-spice substitute in Indian Dishes

Bafat is a popular spice blend that is used in many Indian dishes. It has an intriguing blend of flavors and aromas that perfectly complements the main ingredients in various dishes. It consists of ground star anise, fennel seeds, dried tangerine peels, cinnamon and cloves.

It is produced by mixing spice such as cumin, coriander, fennel seeds, and black peppercorns. This mixture of flavorful spice gives dishes a distinctive taste that is savory and aromatic.

Bafat has become increasingly popular in recent years and can be found in many Indian restaurants. Many home cooks also use bafat for preparing their own dishes at home.

It’s an adaptable spice blend that can be used to season everything from meat, vegetables, and lentils to rice dishes and flatbreads. It is also a popular ingredient in sauces, marinades, and dressings.

There’re many other variations of this spice blend, with some people adding additional spices or herbs to the basic recipe. Bafat can also be made more or less spicy, depending on personal preferences. However, regardless of how it is prepared, this popular spice blend is sure to add a delicious kick to any dish!

8. Ras el hanout

Basically, ras el hanout is a North African spice blend that can be used as a substitute for five-spice powder in cooking.

Ras el hanout typically contains a mixture of spices such as cumin, coriander, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper.

When substituting ras el hanout for five-spice powder in your recipes, you may need to adjust the quantity of ras el hanout that you utilize to create a flavor profile that is similar to five-spice powder.

Additionally, if your recipe calls for hot chile peppers or cayenne pepper, you can add these spices as well to give your dish a little more heat.

9. Berbere- Alternative for five-spice powder

Berbere is a common spice blend used in Ethiopian cooking. It typically contains chili peppers, ginger, garlic, cloves, cardamom, fenugreek, and cumin.

Keep in mind that the two spice blends will taste quite different from each other, so your dish may end up with a bit of a different flavor than what you were going for.

if you're out of five-spice powder and need a replacement for it in a recipe you can try using berbere instead

Berbere can be added to stews, curries, rice dishes, lentils and soups to give them a rich, spicy flavor. It is also utilized as a dry rub for chicken, fish and other meats before cooking or grilling to add depth of flavor and heat.

It can be purchased pre-made at most grocery stores or specialty spice shops, or you can easily make it at home using a basic recipe that combines several different dried chiles and spice.

Regardless of how you use it, berbere is sure to add a delicious spicy kick to any dish!

How to make Chinese five-spice at home

Chinese five-spice powder is a mixture of ground spice used extensively in Chinese cuisine, but it can be difficult to find outside China. Fortunately, it’s truly easy to make at home using common ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.

The blend usually includes cinnamon, star anise, cloves, Sichuan pepper and fennel seeds, but there are many variations. Here’s a basic recipe for homemade Chinese five-spice powder.

1. Combine all the spice in a bowl and mix well.

2. Store the powder in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.

3. Use the mixture in marinades, sauces, soups, and stews to add a distinctive flavor to your favorite Chinese dishes.

As you can see, making your own Chinese five-spice powder is really easy and only requires a few easy ingredients that already you probably have on hand. Try experimenting with different spice combinations to create your own unique blend. Enjoy!

Other Alternatives to using if you don’t have Chinese 5 spice (DIY)

· Star ANise+ Fennel seeds

· Star Anise+Red chili flakes

· Garam masala+star anise

· anise seeds + Sichuan pepper

· Cinnamon+ Star Anise

Best Chinese five-spice from amazon

How to use Chinese 5 spice in Different recipes

Chinese 5 spice is a traditional Chinese ingredient that is commonly used in many different recipes, including stir-fry dishes, soups and stews. It has a complicated flavor profile that combines sweet with spicy and savory flavors.

The combination of spice also creates a fragrant aroma that adds depth to any dish. To use Chinese 5 spice in a recipe, start by adding them to the cooking oil at the beginning of your cooking process.

Then, add other spice or seasonings as desired and continue with the rest of your recipe according to the directions.

One popular recipe that uses Chinese 5 spice is stir-fry chicken with vegetables. To make this dish, heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add sliced chicken, along with chopped carrots, celery and onions. Season the ingredients with Chinese 5 spice and continue cooking until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through. Finally, serve this dish by itself or over rice for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

Another popular recipe that uses Chinese 5 spice is the beef stew. 

To make this dish, cut your beef into bite-sized pieces and toss with flour to lightly coat. Flame a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and add oil.

Add the beef cubes along with chopped carrots, onions, garlic and ginger. Season the ingredients with a Chinese 5 spice and continue cooking until the beef is browned and the vegetables are tender.

Add broth and allow the stew to simmer until the liquid reduces and thickens, then serve hot with rice or crusty bread.

If you enjoy using Chinese 5 spice in your cooking, try experimenting with other recipes as well.

Some suggestions include adding it to a vegetable stir-fry or noodle soup, tossing it with roasted vegetables or adding it to a marinade for grilled meat.

With just a few simple ingredients and basic cooking techniques, you can easily incorporate this versatile spice blend into your favorite dishes.

Wrap up on Chinese five spice substitute

There’re so many options that help you replace the Chinese five-spice mixture that you can find in most grocery shop or make your own combination.

My alltime best alternative is garam masla and allspice. You can rely on that mixture. To get the best result try your own substitute mentioned above and choose it according to your need.

FAQ’s on Chinese 5 spice

q1. Is Chinese 5 spice the same as allspice?

No, Chinese 5 spice is a blend of spice that includes cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and other spice. Allspice is a single spice made from the dried berry of the allspice tree. Both are used in cooking to add flavor to dishes and can be purchased at most grocery stores.

q2. Is garam masala the same as Chinese 5 spice?

Garam masala is a combination of spice used in Indian cooking. In contrast, the Chinese 5 spice are a mixture of spice used in Chinese cooking.

Garam masala is typically made of a mixture of warm, earthy spice like cloves, cumin, coriander seeds and cardamom pods. It is used in Indian cooking and may be found in dishes like curries or meat stews.

Chinese 5 spice, on the other hand, is a mix of traditional Chinese spice, including cinnamon, star anise and cloves. It’s utilized in both savory and sweet dishes and may be found in recipes for things like roasted chicken or even desserts like cookies or baked pears.

Both garam masala and Chinese 5 spice are unique blends of spices that can add depth and flavor to various dishes.

q3. Can I use 7 spice instead of 5 spice? 

You can use 7 spice instead of 5 spice, but the flavor will be different.

7 spice is typically a blend of chili pepper, ginger, Sichuan peppercorn, star anise, fennel seed, cloves, and cinnamon. 5 spice is typically a blend of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorn, and fennel seeds.

Both blends are popular in Asian cuisine, but they do have different flavors. So if you want to switch up the spice in your dish, try using 7 spices instead of 5 spices. You won’t be disappointed!

q4. Where to buy Chinese 5 spice?

If you’re looking for some good quality Chinese 5 spice online, there are many options available to choose from.

Some of the famous websites where you can see high-quality Chinese 5 spices include Amazon, Walmart and Vitacost. You can also buy it directly from a local Chinese grocery store in your city.

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