If you’ve got a jar of this incredibly flavorful spice blend in hand, you might be wondering in what ways you could use it. So, this feature will tackle the best Chinese five-spice uses that will positively surpass the ordinary ways in your cooking routine.

The subtle flavor profile of this spice mix could be helpful in a number of ways in your cuisine. Accordingly, the Chinese five-spice can be used:

  1. With meat, fish, and other seafood dishes
  2. On vegetables
  3. With noodles, rice, pasta, and spaghetti
  4. To be incorporated in rubs and marinades
  5. With nuts
  6. To spice up sweet dishes
  7. With fried food
  8. To be mixed in ground meat mixtures
  9. With soups and stews
  10. In stir-fried dishes
  11. To make a tasty tweak in beverages
  12. With tofu and mushrooms
  13. In salads
  14. In taco, sandwich, and wrap fillings

We hope you are excited to learn about incorporating this wonderful mixture into your regular meals in detail. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in! 

The Best 14 Ways To Use Chinese Five Spice

Whether you are non-veg, vegetarian, or vegan, the Chinese five-spice mix could treat you with equality at the dinner table. The vibrant blend of star anise, Szechuan peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, and fennel seeds in this mix is a powerfully flavored combination making it versatile to go with a variety of dishes.

So, how could you use it to the fullest? Let’s get to know 14 ways of how to do so in your kitchen.

Best 14 ways to use Chinese five-spice - SpiceRally

01- With Meat, Fish, And Other Seafood Dishes

This spice mix’s tangy, peppery-sweet notes are an absolute blessing to endless fish, meat, and other seafood dishes. If you are a meat lover, you can simply incorporate the Chinese five-spice mix with chicken, pork, duck, steak, lamb, etc.

In addition, you can use this in braises and in making various salmon, Tilapia, shrimp, and Tuna dishes with a delicious Asian touch. Our topic leader does not typically contain herbs. But, you can still use fresh or dried herbs like rosemary, basil, thyme, and oregano as supportive flavors with the spice blend to enhance the taste of these dishes.

Szechuan shrimp, chicken, and beef are some signature dishes that come up with this blend. And you could even employ this with your own family recipes.

02- On Vegetables

Giving the goodness of veggies to their family members can sometimes be a hassle to most home cooks or moms, and we know the struggle! But what if we say that you can do wonders in your regular vegetable dish with this spice mix?

In fact, there are unconditional ways in which you could employ this with vegetables like:

  • Carrot
  • Eggplant
  • Broccoli
  • Potatoes
  • Cauliflower
  • Greens like bok choy and lettuce
  • Butternut squash, etc.

These vegetables can be made as stir-fries, grilled, baked, roasted, or even as stews and Chinese-style dishes. The bold flavor of the Chinese five-spice mix gets along really well with many vegetables so that ordinary veggies will escalate to their next level!

03- With Noodles, Rice, Pasta, And Spaghetti

Regular ramen or vermicelli get a nice pat on the back once you try a pinch or two from our topic leader. And not only that, you can even make spiced rice dishes and include this spice blend with many other pasta and spaghetti recipes.

In addition, if you need to surprise your loved ones with a tasty tweak, try this in your ordinary chicken/vegetable fried rice, pork Lo Meng, Fettuccine, or even shrimp pasta. The blend is strong enough to overpower the taste of an entire meal. So be gentle, especially if you have kids at home.

How does the Chinese five-spice mix actually become so special? So, to learn more about this unique spice blend and its ingredients, click here for our detailed article.

04- To Be Incorporated In Rubs And Marinades

This is obviously one of the most known uses of the Chinese five-spice. But, in this episode, SpiceRally wishes to share some tips on how to incorporate this spice blend into your meat rubs and marinades in a whole new way.

Our topic leader always works well as a dry rub in grilling, roasting, or baking meat and fish. But, making wet rubs using sesame oil, honey, or olive oil can essentially improve its flavor. Moreover, when making marinades with this spice blend, try to use bases like soy sauce, rice wine, and apple cider vinegar.

In fact, rather than using our subject leader alone, mixing them with other supporting flavoring agents can give incredibly delicious rubs and marinades. They can also balance the intense flavors of the mix and prevent them from overpowering the dish. Not only in meat or fish, but you can also use the marinades to prepare your favorite veggies!

05- With Nuts

Cashews, pecans, peanuts, walnuts, pistachios – you can give them all a beautiful savory touch with this spice blend. Snacking will be a whole new experience if you got a bottle of this wonder powder!

While you can mix this spice mix in with regular roasted nuts like pecans or peanuts, you can also make signature cashew dishes. And the best thing is that the Chinese five-spice mix works wonders when you make nutty snacks, no matter if it is spicy or sweet. How convenient!
So, make curries, bake, dry-roast, or fry your nuts to your heart’s content. But do not forget to throw a dash of this spice blend mixing it with salt, coconut cream, maple syrup, caramel, cayenne pepper, or whatever ingredient you wish.

06- To Spice Up Sweet Dishes

Isn’t it habitual to prepare something sweet at home whenever it calls for a celebration? Most of us try to come up with something special in such instances. And we guarantee that this spice blend will do wonders for your special sweet dish!

Cinnamon, cloves, and star anise in this mix provide the ideal flavors to go with many sweet dishes. These flavors pair well with chocolate, ginger, maple syrup, orange juice, and pears. Ginger cake, carrot cake, snickerdoodles, spiced puddings, and chocolate cookies are some sweet treats you can make using this mix.

And, if we have missed anything and you have your own “family sweet” recipe, do not forget to share it with us.

07- With Fried Food

Who wouldn’t really say no to fried food? But, the Chinese five-spice mix can make them even better by giving a zesty kick to your ordinary fried foods. This can certainly upgrade the taste of potato fries/crisps, sweet potato, or butternut squash fries.

Our topic leader will make them equally rich in flavor whether you make them in the air-fryer or deep fry them. And ginger, garlic, and olive oil will work well as complementary flavors.

You can either season the fries, crisps, and wedges with the spice blend before frying or toss it to coat afterward. Go with whatever you want!

What would you do if you suddenly ran out of your Chinese five-spice blend? Worry not – there are many possible replacements that you can use instead. Just click here, and we have tackled the best substitutes you find on the internet!

08- To Be Mixed In Ground Meat Mixtures

We believe that a jar of this spice blend is a must-have in your pantry if you love experimenting with new recipes using ground meat. Just a pinch of this absolutely goes a long way in your homemade meatballs, sausages, and burger patties.


Try to mix a small amount with minced chicken, ground beef, pork, minced fish, or even firm tofu (as a vegan option). You can infuse the meatballs in a sauce and enjoy them with spaghetti or Jasmine Rice. Or else, use the sausages to make sausage rolls. Being creative is all up to you!

09- With Soups And Stews

Among the best uses of the Chinese five-spice, employing it in soups and stews is more like an Asian food ritual. In fact, this spice blend is used in many authentic Chinese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese and Thai soups and stews.

However, it does not have to be signature/traditional Asian stews or soups since you have the freedom to try this blend with your ordinary recipes, such as your bowl of pumpkin soup, chicken noodle soup, spicy ramen bowl, beef, or vegetable stew.

If you make the recipes with meat, also help yourself with vegetables like bok choy, baby corn, Chinese broccoli, etc. And in dishes like pumpkin soup and vegetable stews, you can use fresh herbs with this spice mix for a divine flavor.

10- In Stir-Fried Dishes

Asians are typically obsessed with stir-fries like noodles, beef, chicken, or vegetables. So, if you also plan on having an Asian meal this weekend, we suggest that a dish of Chinese five-spice mix-infused stir-fry will be a real treat.

This spice blend is also a safe choice for our vegan readers. It will add a tasty savory touch to your regular vegetable or tofu stir-fry. And if you got soy chunks at home, try a dish with it tonight and give us your feedback!

A juicy chicken breast can be the perfect accompaniment to a classic Caesar salad or a club sandwich. It’s also easy to cook, and can be as simple as dressing it with a few spices and popping in the oven.

Marcus Samuelsson.

11- To Make A Tasty Tweak In Some Beverages

A spice mix in drinks, for real! The options are not many, yet you can surprise your friends with a real zingy punch at your next small reunion.

This spice blend complements fruit juices like watermelon, orange, lime, and lemon. In addition, this pairs well with alcohol and other beverages like rum, bourbon, club soda, ginger beer, and lemonade. So, what is going to be your next go-to spiced drink?

12- With Tofu And Mushrooms

As mentioned in a previous point, this spice mix is a perfect addition to vegetarian/vegan meals. The flavor of this blend goes really well with most types of mushrooms and tofu.

You can make five spice-infused mushroom rice, braised tofu, mushroom/tofu stir-fries, and even dishes that go with pasta and rice. Again, you can experiment using your creativity and the knowledge we have showered you with!

13- In Salads

We’ve got some good news for all the salad lovers out there! The sweet, peppery, and tangy notes of this spice mix could pour its rich taste over a variety of salad bowls.

Its flavor could practically complement raw vegetables, pasta/noodles, chicken, duck, greens like bok choy, and citruses. You can use a pinch directly to toss in your salad or infuse it with the dressings or vinaigrettes.

14- In Taco, Sandwich, And Wrap Fillings

You know you aren’t stuck to specifics when it comes to fillings. In fact, sandwiches, tacos, and wraps are foods you could include anything tasty inside, so why not go with some Chinese five-spice mix!

You can use this spice blend in sandwiches by mixing it with butter or regular mayonnaise. Or else, include it in the fillings made with whatever you like, such as meat, fish, mushrooms, etc. Do the same with tacos, and you can also try this with wheat, lettuce wraps, or cabbage rolls.

How To Store Chinese Five-Spice?

Whether you buy this spice mix from the store or make your own batch at home, it is necessary to store it in an air-tight glass container once opened. Moreover, keep it in a cool, dry, dark place without it being exposed to direct sunlight. You can simply keep it with other spices in your spice rack.

Summing Up With The Best Chinese Five Spice Uses…

This delightfully rich blend of spices undoubtedly makes your kitchen smell like you are cooking for a royal wedding! Using this spice mix goes a long way from employing it as a meat rub, mixing in stir-fries, adding in rice or noodle dishes, and even tweaking certain beverages.

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