5 spice powder


I’m allergic to fresh fennel, but does that include fennel seeds, too? I decided to err on the side of caution and not use a premade blend of 5-spice powder in a recent recipe. (One of the five spices is fennel seeds.) Instead, I made my own “4-Spice” blend and you know what? It was amazing.

As I ground up the cloves, star anise, pepper, and cinnamon, the aroma in our kitchen was fragrant and perfumy.

Here’s a recipe, just in case you want to make some for yourself. From thekitchn.com. Makes approximately ¼ cup.

Chinese Five-Spice Blend

  • 2 whole star anise
  • 2 teaspoons Szechuan peppercorns (or generic peppercorns)
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into a few pieces

In a dry pan over medium heat, toast the anise, peppercorns, cloves, fennel, until fragrant. Swirl the pan gently and toss the seeds occasionally to prevent burning. Allow to cool.

Add the seeds and cinnamon sticks to a spice grinder. Grind for twenty seconds until a fine powder is formed. If large pieces remain, grind for another 5 - 10 seconds.

Store the blend in an airtight spice jar out of the light. It’s best to make small batches so that the blend is still very fresh when you use it, but the spice blend will also store for several months.


Freezer Meals - 5 Spice Turkey Burgers

After a crazy good response to my Freezer Breakfast Burritos, I decided to share another favorite Freezer meal. 5 Spice, Turkey Burgers. This is another great way to make cooking during the week easy - “Feed your freezer on weekend and it will feed you all week!”

Ingredients: (Double batch - Makes 10-12 burgers)

  1. 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  2. 2 egg whites
  3. ¼ cup diced onions
  4. 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
  5. 2 teaspoons fresh ginger root
  6. ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  7. 1 teaspoon 5 spice powder
  8. ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  9. 2 lbs fresh ground turkey
  10. Sliced or grated gouda cheese
  11. Bakery fresh rolls
  12. Fresh Spinach (optional) 
  13. Pineapple Rings

Directions: (See corresponding pictures) 

  1. Mix first 8 ingredients in a bowl until well combined 
  2. Add ground turkey and gently mix by hand
  3. Press into 10-12 patties
  4. Separate out patties that will be frozen and wrap them individually in waxed paper
  5. Label and seal in a freezer bag. (Will keep for at least 90 days.)
  6. Grill remaining burgers until they are at least 160 degrees. Add gouda cheese and grill pineapple rings for 3 minutes / side
  7. Serve on roll with spinach

When you are ready to serve the frozen burgers you can take what you need from the freezer and cook them up. You can either thaw them first (prefered) or cook directly from frozen. If you do this, be especially careful to check temp throughout the cooked burger.