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Monday, November 3, 2008

SpiceStop : Five Spice

Five spice powder is a Chinese seasoning which is based on the balance of the major tastes - sweet, sour, salty, bitter and savory. There are different variations on the five spices used for this, but the typical components are star anise, cinnamon and cloves, with either fennel seeds, Sichuan peppers or ginger powder. It is typically used to marinade duck or pork, before the meat is roasted or grilled or smoked, sometimes basted with honey for a sweeter version.


can you guess which one is which?
cloves, star anise, cinnamon, fennel seeds, sichuan peppers


This homemade five spice was made of equal proportions of the spices pictured above, which are dry roasted (i.e. 'fried without oil') in a pan for around 1 minute, tossing frequently, just to release its flavors. The spices are then ground finely and placed in an airtight container.

For a very simple five-spiced pork, you will need :
1 kilo pork belly, skin scored
around 2 teaspoons of five spice
sea salt, brown sugar and cracked black pepper, to taste



before and after


Pre-heat oven to 180C. Get pork belly and season the meat (belly side) generously with the five spice powder. Salt, pepper and brown sugar goes all over the pork, including the skin, and leave to roast in the oven from 1.5 to 2 hours.

Let rest on paper towels (let extra fat drip away!), cut up and serve with some veggies, and rice, if so desired!


finished product!

Serves two really hungry adults.

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Scribe's Notes

This pitstop is where incoherent ramblings seem to have meaning, where things or events are thought of and assessed, where great things are documented and perhaps any not-so-good happenings are written down in attempt to be forgotten!

So from the diversely abstract to the intensely specific, it's off to making tracks, and it is here where it stops for a thought or two.

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