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Chinese cooking often calls for Five Spice Powder.  You can usually find this seasoning ready-made in a large supermarket, but try making your own sometime. 

Five Spice Powder # 1

2 tablespoons whole star anise (about 10)
1 tablespoon Szechwan peppercorns

1 stick cinnamon
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves

Place all ingredients in a sauté pan over medium heat and dry-roast, shaking pan often, until they give off an aroma, about 5 minutes.

Transfer to a mortar or a clean coffee grinder and grind to a powder. Store in an airtight container.

Makes about 1/4 cup.

This is copied from a former site called "Kosher Chinese Recipes".    Other pages at present are all broken links.   It states:

"This powder is a combination of five ground spices and can be found in most supermarkets.  Kosher brands of Five Spice Powder are difficult to find, but it is easy to prepare your own.  Use ground spices when available and grind the Sichuan peppercorns and star anise, which are not usually available around."

Five Spice Powder # 2

2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns
8 star anise, or 4 teaspoons ground anise
half teaspoon ground cloves

1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon ground fennel seeds

In a dry skillet, roast the peppercorns by shaking the pan over low to medium heat until the aroma of the peppercorns is released, about 3 minutes. 

Grind the roasted peppercorns and star anise separately in a blender or a spice mill.   Strain.  Mix in other spices and grind again until very fine.  Store in an airtight container.  Makes about 4 Tablespoons.


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