Basic Chinese Pantry. Five-spice Powder and Garlic



Five-spice-Powder_2cBy the article "Basic Chinese Pantry. Bean Curd" we began a series of articles about Chinese Pantry. Here is the next text on this topic. It's about such products as Five-spice powder (five-flavoured powder, or five-fragrance spice powder) and Garlic (it is part of the fabric of Chinese cuisine).


Five-spice powder

Five spice powder, also known as five-flavoured powder and five-fragrance Five-spice-Powder_cspice powder, is available from many supermarkets (in the spice section) and Chinese grocers'. In Hong Kong Chinese chefs use this traditional spice in innovative ways, such as in marinating the inside of a Peking duck. It is a brownish powder consisting of a mixture of star anise, Sichuan peppercorns, fennel, cloves and cinnamon. A good blend is pungent fragrant, spicy and slightly sweet at the same time. The exotic fragrance it gives to a dish makes the search for a good mixture well worth the effort. Stored in a well-sealed jar it keeps indefinitely.


The pungent flavour of garlic is part of the fabric of Chinese cuisine. It would be inconceivable to cook without its distinctive, highly garlic_caromatic smell and unique taste. It is used in numerous ways: whole, finely chopped, crushed and pickled; and in Hong Kong I have even found it smoked. Garlic is used to flavour oils as well as spicy sauces, and is often paired with other equally pungent ingredients such as spring onions, black beans, curry paste, shrimp paste or fresh root ginger. For quick and easy preparation, give the garlic clove a sharp blow with the flat side of your cleaver or knife and the peel should come off easily. Then put the required amount through a garlic press, rather than chopping it in the traditional way - this saves time and works just as well. Select fresh garlic which is firm and heavy, the cloves preferably pinkish in colour. It should be stored in a cool, dry place, but not in the refrigerator where it can easily become mildewed or begin to sprout.

Read also:

Basic Chinese Pantry. Black Beans and Chinese White Cabbage

Basic Chinese Pantry. Bean Curd

Basic Chinese Pantry. Chillies

Basic Chinese Pantry. Coconut Milk and Coriander, Chinese Parsley or Cilantro

Basic Chinese Pantry. Cornflour and Curry Paste

Basic Chinese Pantry. Ginger and Mange-tout

Basic Chinese Pantry. Chinese Dried Mushrooms

Basic Chinese Pantry. Noodles/Pasta

Basic Chinese Pantry. Oils

Basic Chinese Pantry. Oyster Sauce and Rice

Basic Chinese Pantry. Chinese Rice Wine and Thick Sauces and Pastes

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