Five powdered spices A blend of cinnamon, cloves, Sichuan pepper, fennel and star anise, these five spices give the acidic, bitter, spicy, sweet and savory flavors found in Chinese cuisine. Some of the herbs and spices on this list of 10 will be familiar to you, and others will be novel and even strange to you. You'll learn what a spice or herb looks like, its health effects, any health warnings and what the Chinese use it for. Ginger is the most common Chinese herb for seasoning.
It is usually used together with garlic in sautéed dishes, soups, and sauces. The reason fennel is on the top 10 list is that it's generally included in five-spice condiments. In fact, it tastes similar to star anise. It has a licorice flavor, but is used differently in Chinese medicine and cuisine than star anise, which is believed to strengthen Yang.
It is believed to promote Yin in the body, which is why fennel is a spice most preferred by women. Ginger is arguably the most ubiquitous spice in Chinese cuisine. It is usually combined with garlic and are the first ingredients used in the wok in many sautéed dishes. Fresh ginger has a sweet and spicy flavor profile.
It is used in soups and other dishes along with stir-fries and can be used in its fresh or pickled form. Traditional Chinese medicine considers ginger to be a very valuable ingredient. We comply with the Federal Trade Commission's Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) of 1998. Star anise or ba jiao () plays a key role in slow-cooked dishes and is also one of the five-spice powdered spices. It has a powerful flavor and aroma, similar to licorice, slightly bitter, with a touch of sweetness.
Look for whole pieces that aren't broken and store them in a sealed container in your spice cabinet to keep them fresh. Star anise is an essential ingredient that provides a distinctive flavor to dishes such as Chinese braised oxtail, chicken with soy sauce, and Lanzhou beef noodle soup, just to name a few. A couple of drops of light and fragrant sesame oil can add a lot of flavor and aroma to wok dishes. It's also light enough to work well in cold dishes, dressings, and dipping sauces.
Sesame oil is available in both cold-pressed and roasted varieties. Cold-pressed oil has a lighter flavor and is almost colorless, making it a good addition to salad dressings, while the toasted variety tastes smokier and more nutty. Its flavor is distinctive and can easily dominate other ingredients. Widely regarded as one of the oldest condiments in the world, soy sauce is a fermented soy product.
It was probably first discovered more than 3,500 years ago in China as part of the fish conservation process. It is used in seafood, meat and vegetable dishes and as a base for other sauces, such as teriyaki. It may also be the forerunner of the ketchup we know and love today. It is also used to help neutralize any harmful effects of other ingredients in foods or medical concoctions, which is why it is widely used in Chinese medicine.
Its sulfurous umami flavor is versatile and goes well with virtually every savory ingredient in Chinese cuisine. It is one of the standard ingredients in five-spice powder, but the Chinese are increasingly using it to make desserts, pastries, candies and beverages, and to flavor meat dishes. Chicken powder baked with salt, or yan jú jī fěn () in Mandarin and yim gook gai fen in Cantonese, is a quick and easy way to marinate and prepare a classic Chinese chicken baked in salt. Unlike the bland, identical food you'll find in most Chinese restaurants abroad, locally made food brims with herbs and spices for a variety of exotic flavors.
Many Chinese people tend to drop a piece of star anise every time they boil basically any soup or vegetable, and it is also added to many other dishes. Chinese dry spices and condiments are a big category, with ingredients you won't find in the average spice aisle. Chili powder, flakes, and pasta are widely used in Chinese cuisine, especially in the colder Northeast and in the area around Sichuan and Guangxi. Find it in Korean markets, other Asian grocery stores, online, and in the spice aisle of some well-stocked supermarkets.
To achieve healthy flavors and achieve a harmony of flavors, Chinese cooks rely on herbs and spices to achieve a balance that promotes health, treats diseases and helps recover from injury. Some blends even incorporate other common Chinese flavors, such as garlic and ginger, to save you the hassle of having to add them to your recipes as a separate step. It is commonly eaten in the West, as it is a favorite spice used in Italian and Jewish cuisine and in Italian condiments. Shaoxing wine (or cooking wine, rice wine).
In Chinese cuisine, Shaoxing wine is used as a cooking wine to add a delicate flavor to the dish. Judy has a recipe for chicken baked in salt that includes all the spices needed without using this ready-made package, but we have included it here so that you know this ingredient. .