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Chinese Five Spice Pumpkin Seeds

Chinese Five Spice Pumpkin Seeds

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Chinese Five Spice Pumpkin Seeds

These Chinese Five Spice Pumpkin Seeds pack a punch with the spice's aromatic flavors.


For the Pumpkin Seeds

  • 1/4 Cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/4 Teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon curry powder


For the Pumpkin Seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix together the pumpkin seeds and olive oil. Then pour the spice mixture over it and stir again. Evenly spread pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and transfer to oven. Cook until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.

Nutritional Facts


Calories Per Serving154

Folate equivalent (total)10µg2%

LunaCafe Chinese Five-Spice: Wonder Powder

As legend has it, the ancient Chinese attempted to produce a wonder powder—a blend so evocative and mind-blowing that it would include all of the five flavors—sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, and salty.

What resulted was Chinese Five-Spice, one of the most aromatic and beloved spice blends in the world.

But here’s the rub. There’s no ONE Chinese Five-Spice. Every Chinese cook worth their salt has their own SECRET recipe, often handed down over many generations. These are closely held recipes, even though the basic components are known. The basic blend consists typically of cinnamon, fennel seed, star anise, clove, and Sichuan pepper.

Secondary spices are sometimes added as well. Thus, Chinese Five-Spice easily turns into Six-Spice, Seven Spice, and yes, even my beloved Chinese Ten-Spice.

Some of the optional spices include allspice, black pepper, coriander, cumin, galangal, ginger, green cardamom, nutmeg, orange peel, and turmeric.

If I can say one thing definitive about this spice blend though, it’s that the dominant flavor note should be licorice (star anise, anise, fennel). That’s what distinguishes it from some other spice blends, such as Garam Masala.

But regardless of which spices are used, the secret and the magic of this spice blend derives not so much from the spices themselves as from the proportion of the spices to each other. In other words, this is a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. It’s all about finesse and balance.

LunaCafe Chinese Five-Spice

Fresh spices are important for best results with this aromatic spice blend. All spices lose aroma and flavor with long or non-optimal storage. Whole spices should be used within six months of purchase and stored in an airtight, dark container in a cool location.

The aroma of these spices when they are toasting is remarkable. Take a moment, breathe in fully, and just enjoy. Isn’t life good?

3 whole star anise pieces, broken into points
20 whole cloves
3-inch soft cinnamon stick (canela), broken
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon whole Sichuan peppercorn

  1. In nonstick skillet set over medium heat, toast the spices until just fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Immediately remove from the heat, let cool, and then grind to a powder in a spice grinder.
  3. Put through a large mesh strainer to ensure that you don’t have any remaining large chunks.
  4. When cool, store in an airtight container in a cool, dark, dry location.

More LunaCafe Chinese Five-Spice Recipes

More LunaCafe Spice Blends

Cookin with Gas (inspiration from around the web)

  • The Secret of Chinese Five-Spice | Duck and Roses | Waste Not, Want Not
  • Spicy Caramel Pork Loin with Vietnamese Papaya and Apple Slaw (with Five-Spice) | Duck and Roses
  • Uyghur Five-Spice Blend | The Silk Road Gourmet

Copyright 2015 Susan S. Bradley. All Rights Reserved.

About Susan S. Bradley

Intrepid cook, food writer, culinary instructor, creator of the LunaCafe blog, author of Pacific Northwest Palate: Four Seasons of Great Cooking, and former director of the Northwest Culinary Academy.

What’s in Chinese Five Spice?

Usually, five spice powder includes cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorns. So there is some overlap with pumpkin spice.

In a conventional pumpkin spice blend, you’ll generally find cinnamon and cloves, as well as ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. Without a doubt, those spices beautifully complement the flavors of pumpkin, winter squash, and even sweet potatoes and carrots.

Chinese five spice, however, is more assertive where pumpkin spice is soft. You’ll find both cloves and cinnamon in a five spice blend too, but that’s where the similarities end. In fact, more traditional recipes for Chinese five spice call for cassia bark, a cousin to the sweeter cinnamon powder we tend to use in the US.

Beyond that, Chinese five spice boasts more heat and a certain beguiling twang, thanks to the fennel seeds, star anise, and peppercorns (which can be Sichuan, black, or white peppercorns). Some blends also add ginger, though then it’s technically a six spice powder.

The Silk Road Chinese Five Spice Blend, $10 on Amazon

This brand's five spice blend includes star anise, fennel, cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorns, cloves, and ginger.

Although you can find Chinese five spice powder in most grocery and specialty stores, you can also make your own at home. This makes it especially easy to vary your spice choices—playing between Sichuan and black peppercorns, adding ground cassia bark instead of cinnamon if you happen upon some, etc.

Chinese Five Spice Pumpkin Bread with Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel

Years ago, when Danny and I were newly cohabitating, I think we were kind of doing a thing where we were still trying to impress each other with skills we already knew the other possessed. I’d cook a lot of really nice dinners, and he’d embark on crazy kitchen projects like making mustard and hand-flipped pizza dough and holiday peanut brittle. These projects met with varying levels of success, from low (the mustard) to medium-high (the pizza) to total home run (the peanut brittle).

I’m not sure where he found the inspiration, but he added two shocking ingredients to this peanut brittle that resulted in a pretty transcendent product. One batch contained the slightest trace of cayenne pepper, which, proving he was dealing in dad jokes years before becoming a father, he enthusiastically marketed to me and everyone else we knew as a “Christmas pinch.”

Tasting a piece from the second batch, my eyes widened. What was this flavor? Cinnamon? Cinnamon from sexy heaven? Cinnamon… and clove and… pepper? “WHAT. IS. HAPPENING. HERE,” I demanded.

He told me it was Chinese Five Spice. Told me he read about it somewhere and thought it might taste good.

Sleeper culinary genius of the century here, folks.

And it makes sense: Chinese Five Spice has a boatload of cinnamon and clove, but then swaps out pumpkin spice’s admittedly homey but ultimately tame allspice, ginger, and nutmeg for a more alluring blend of fennel seed, star anise, and peppercorns (black, white, or Sichuan). Basically, it’s how to un-basic all of your cold-weather sweet treats. And it’s just been hiding in plain sight this whole time, hanging out with savory dishes, slicking itself on sticky pork ribs, roasted duck, and in beefy stir fries.

Since then, I’ve adopted Chinese Five Spice as my spice blend of choice for all fall baking endeavors. Whipped cream for apple and pumpkin pies? Candied nuts? Any and all sweet applications of pumpkin? YES TO ALL. Yes.

So pumpkin spice is officially cancelled and we’re switching to Chinese Five Spice instead, OK? OK.

To get you started, here’s my revamp of my mom’s classic pumpkin bread, with her permission and blessing. (Plus a great story of how she got the recipe, about 40 years ago, from an old work pal.) This version is gussied up for company or gifting (or, you know, breakfast) with a devastatingly good brown sugar pecan streusel topping.

I’ve been playing extensively with the monster pumpkin loaffrom Smitten Kitchen lately, which I love because it uses the entire 15 oz. can of pumpkin, but which is, well, humongous and for purposes of this recipe, becomes structurally unsound when streusel is introduced. I scaled my bread recipe back to fit in a regular tea loaf pan (which is what most people probably have), but like to make extra streusel since it keeps nicely in the fridge and pulls double duty as an easy fruit crisp topping. I use my tallest loaf pan for extra insurance against a streusel avalanche. You can reinforce your safeguards and put the loaf on a sheet pan in the oven as well. This recipe doubles easily and thus will use all of the streusel, plus the entire can of pumpkin (which admittedly can be annoying to store otherwise, once opened), so you really can keep one loaf for your breakfasts and give one to the neighbors.


1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon (or double up and use Chinese Five Spice here)

4 tablespoons butter, firm but workable

1/2 of a 15oz. can of pumpkin

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice

Spray oil or butter, for the pan

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray or grease a loaf pan and set aside.

First, make the streusel. Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Then add the butter in 6 or 8 pieces, and work the mixture with your fingers until you have coarse crumbs and chunks (some will be bigger than others due to the nuts I love this irregular, sort of gravelly texture). Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the bread, start by adding the eggs and sugar to a large bowl and whisk together. Once combined, add the oil and the pumpkin. Whisk again to combine. Then, sprinkle all dry ingredients over top: the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and Chinese Five Spice. Whisk again until smooth. (No need to beat, just incorporate.)

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Sprinkle half the streusel mixture over the top, then bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Chinese Five Spice Rubbed Wings with Sweet Chili Ginger Sauce

Chicken waaaangggs. Yum! My fiancé Eric is originally from upstate New York where a major food group is chicken wings. These are fiancé approved which is quite an honor!

The Chinese five spice dry rub on these wings is made of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Szechuan peppercorns, and fennel seeds. What’s so delicious about this spice is it incorporates all five elements of taste: salty, sweet, our, bitter and umami. It’s full of such warm and cozy flavors too which is perfect for the fall season!

The dipping sauce (that’s gingery, garlicky, sweet, spicy and salty) makes these chicken wings absolutely killer. In fact, Eric was bowl-licking the leftover sauce! HA!

Makes: 1.5 pounds of wings (for 2 hungry people or 3-4 people as an appetizer)

The Ingredients

1.5 pounds bone-in chicken wings

¾ teaspoon Chinese five spice seasoning

¾ teaspoon fresh grated ginger

1 garlic clove, roughly chopped

The Steps

For the wings: Preheat oven to 475. On a baking sheet, place wings in a single layer. Use your hands to evenly rub Chinese five spice on wings. Sprinkle wings with salt. Place in oven for 20-25 minutes until the internal temperature reads at least 165 degrees.

For the dipping sauce: in a separate bowl, add sweet chili sauce, sesame oil, soy, grated ginger, and garlic. Stir together.

Top wings with sesame seeds and scallions. Serve!

The Steps with Pictures

For the wings: Preheat oven to 475. On a baking sheet, place wings in a single layer. Use your hands to evenly rub Chinese five spice on wings. Sprinkle wings with salt.

Place in oven for 20-25 minutes until the internal temperature reads at least 165 degrees.

For the dipping sauce: in a separate bowl, add sweet chili sauce, sesame oil, soy, grated ginger, and garlic. Stir together.

Chinese Five Spice Pumpkin Seeds - Recipes

We always roast pumpkin seeds when we carve pumpkins at Halloween, but this year, we decided to “dress up” the seeds with a little butter, honey, kosher salt, &, my favorite spice, Chinese five spice powder…this spice rocks! If you do not have any, please go get some! A combination of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and Szechwan peppercorns, this spice is incredibly versatile & can be used in a variety of dishes…buy a jar & see for yourself. When used in this recipe, the honey heightens all the various spices to create a flavor that is addicting! This is a quick & easy nibble to serve all Fall, & is the perfect bar snack served with Thanksgiving cocktails. Yum!

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Place the pumpkin seeds in a colander. Under cold running water, remove all the pumpkin from the seeds (a). Once all the pumpkin is removed, shake the pumpkin seeds till dry & place into a large dish towel, massaging the seeds until dry. place the dried seeds into a bowl (b).
  2. Add the butter, honey, five spice powder & kosher salt to the seeds (a). Toss together well until all the pumpkin seeds are well coated with the ingredients (b).
  3. Preheat your oven to 350˚.
  4. Spread the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on a silicone-lined rimmed baking sheet (a). Roast until caramel brown, about 20 minutes (a). The pumpkin seeds will be aromatic. Do not test at this point. the roasted seeds will be too hot.
  5. Allow the seeds to cool for about 20 minutes. transfer to a serving bowl & serve.

If you want spicier pumpkin seeds, substitute Mike's Hot Honey for the regular honey. the result will be amazing!

5-Spice Flax Seeds and Pepitas

If you’re looking for a fantastic snack before bed that’s loaded with good taste – and good health benefits – look no further than this savory concoction.

The ingredients that comprise 5-spice powder are cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorns.

And they all bring their own star power to the party.

Cinnamon is fantastic for women experiencing infertility issues because it helps to regulate hormonal balance.

Cloves have a concentrated amount of eugenol, which is a great anti-inflammatory.

Star anise has antifungal, antibacterial and antioxidant properties, all wrapped up in a warm licorice flavor.

Sichuan peppercorns are a wonderful (and flavorful) source of vitamin A, carotenes, and several metals. They also help aid digestion. These “peppercorns” aren’t actually peppercorns they’re actually a type of berry from the Chinese prickly ash tree. If you have a hard time finding Sichuan peppercorns, you can substitute black peppercorns instead.

This recipe will make more 5-spice than you’ll need for just this snack, but it’s worth it to make a batch for other uses. (It’s wonderful on meat or in sauces, soups, and vinaigrettes.) I always keep some on hand.

Get more delicious healing recipes and learn how to rebalance your hormones with food in Cooking for Hormone Balance.

How to Make Chinese 5-Spice Powder

I’m so excited to share with you today how to make the authentic Chinese 5-spice powder. After having a conversation with my neighbor and friend Willow, she encouraged me to write a post about it.

As Willow and I drove by our local Asian grocery store one day, I complained that I could never find a good quality, authentic Chinese 5-spice powder in the stores. Do you feel the same way? For some reason, the ratio of the 5 different spices is never quite right. It just doesn’t taste the same as those I grew up with. Thanks to Willow’s suggestion, we are going to make a homemade Chinese 5-spice powder with that authentic flavor I remember. It only takes you 5 minutes to make it, my friends!

The best way to make the Chinese 5-spice powder is to start with whole spices instead of 5 individual powders. Powders usually lose their best flavors after a few months on the shelf. You have to use a lot more to get the same strength of flavors. Using freshly ground powder from whole spices is the best way to go.

Here are the 5 spices ingredients:

White peppercorn (20 grams)

You need to use white peppercorn instead of Szechuan peppercorns to make it authentic. You may see most recipes out there are using Szechuan peppercorns instead of white peppercorn. Szechuan peppercorns give the powder a stronger numbing taste on your tongue, while white peppercorn has much more pungent taste. It’s very different.

The ratio is another key in making the 5-spice powder. Some of my store-bought ones have a much stronger smell of cinnamon. But if you follow the ratio listed above, you will be able to tell the differences when you add it to your Chinese recipes. If you don’t use 5-spice very often, I would suggest your to make half amount of what I listed.

These whole spices can be ground in a coffee grinder easily. I have an extra coffee grinder in my kitchen that I use only to grind spices. If you only have one coffee grinder, you can grind some roasted white rice to remove/clean up the spice residues after grinding the spices.

This homemade Chinese 5-spice powder is ultra-fresh. I guarantee you this will be the best 5-spice powder you’ve ever had and better than any store-bought ones.

What is 5 spice powder?

It’s a flavorful blend of spices used in traditional cooking. The five components most commonly found in Chinese five spice are star anise ( not to be confused with aniseed ), cloves, cinnamon, pepper and fennel seeds, though various additions and substitutions are often made.

Five-spice powder (五香粉) is a common ingredient in Chinese and Taiwanese cuisine. It encompasses all five tastes —sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami—and uses five different spices. This Asian seasoning is a mixture of star anise, cloves, Chinese cinnamon, Sichuan (Szechuan) peppercorns , and fennel seeds, and it's easy to make at home.

Origin of Chinese Five Spice Interestingly, Chinese Five Spice is based on the five elements – fire, water, wood, earth and metal. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the five elements are manifested in different parts of the body and when there are imbalances in these elements, illness can result.

Five-spice powder, also known as Chinese five-spice powder, is a spice blend with its origins in Asian cuisine. The basic recipe includes cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns with regional variations in proportions and even types of ingredients.

Five spice powder is a mixture of ground spices. Just a pinch, this aromatic blend gives a distinctive depth of flavor and aroma to your dishes. Be careful not to add too much at the beginning else may end up overpowering the entire dish. Simply sprinkle a pinch to your stir-fry or stews and see how you like the taste.

Five-spice is used mostly in Chinese cuisine as well as roast and braised meat dishes. It is a mixture of star anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds and Szechuan (or Sichuan) pepper. While this powder does have five ingredients, the name is actually said to originate from the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water.

Usually, five spice powder includes cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorns. So there is some overlap with pumpkin spice. In a conventional pumpkin spice blend, you’ll generally find cinnamon and cloves, as well as ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.

. to Five Spice Seafood + Wine Bar, featuring fresh local, Pacific Rim-inspired dishes, and a stunning North-west-centric wine list that turns patio dining by the lake into a sublime gastronomical experience.

Five-spice powder is a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise, and Szechuan peppercorns that can be found in the spice aisle of most supermarkets. If five-spice powder is unavailable, use pumpkin pie spice.

When you add five-spice powder to dishes like that, the slow and long cooking allows the meat or poultry or absorb the flavors of the powder to give it a lovely depth of flavor. Another way of using it is to rub the powder on meat or poultry much like any spice rub. You allow the meat or poultry to marinate then fry, roast or grill it.

Chinese five-spice powder is a mixture of five dry ground spices that is used extensively in Chinese cooking. It is the most well-known spice mixture of China and is also used in various other parts of Asia, including in Vietnamese cooking. In Mandarin, five-spice powder is called wu xiang fen and in Cantonese it is ngh heung fan.

The Spice Way Shanghai Chinese Five Spice - A Traditional Chinese 5 spice seasoning ( 2 oz ) for Asian style dishes with the Chinese staples including pepper. All-purpose, No preservatives, No Salt 4.6 out of 5 stars 1,115. $6.99 #4.

The signature spice blend’s origins are murky—it’s been a staple of Chinese cuisine and is packed with tradition and history. But there’s some speculation that this blend was created in traditional Chinese medicine some time in the fourth century BCE in order to be a perfect combination of all five flavors: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and spicy.

Chinese Five Spice is basically a mix of 5 major spices and is a very versatile spice mix that can be used in a variety of recipes. It is a must-have in Chinese kitchen and is quite easy to make at home and much economical than buying it from stores.

Five-spice powder. Five-spice powder is a convenient seasoning in Chinese cuisine. It incorporates the five basic flavors of Chinese cooking — sweet, sour, bitter, savory, and salty. It consists of China Tung Hing cinnamon (actually a type of cassia), powdered cassia buds, powdered star anise and anise seed, ginger root, and ground cloves.

The Spice Way Shanghai Chinese Five Spice - A Traditional Chinese 5 spice seasoning ( 2 oz ) for Asian style dishes with the Chinese staples including pepper. All-purpose, No preservatives, No Salt. 4.8 out of 5 stars 172. $6.99 $ 6. 99 ($3.50/Ounce) Save 10% more with Subscribe & Save.

Chinese Five Spice Pumpkin Seeds - Recipes

Prep time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 22 minutes
Makes: 12 muffins

Pumpkin, nuts and spice - it's like a taste of fall! Adding peanut butter to muffin batter packs extra protein and helps keeps the muffins moist. This recipe can also make a delicious loaf simply bake at 350°F (180°C) for an hour, or until a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean.


2 tbsp (30 mL) large flake oats

2 tbsp (30 mL) pumpkin seeds

2 tbsp (30 mL) coarsely chopped peanuts

1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour

¾ cup (175 mL) whole wheat flour

1¼ cups (300 mL) granulated sugar

1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder

1½ tsp (7 mL) Chinese five-spice powder

1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened canned pumpkin

½ cup (125 mL) peanut or vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 375°F (190° C). Lightly grease a muffin pan. Combine oats, pumpkin seeds, peanuts and brown sugar in a small bowl, then set aside.

In a large bowl, stir flours with sugar, baking powder, five-spice powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk pumpkin with oil, water, eggs and vanilla. Then whisk in peanut butter. Pour onto flour mixture and stir just until combined. Mixture will be quite thick.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan and sprinkle with topping. Bake for about 22 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Per 1 muffin: 320 calories, 15 g fat (3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 7 g monounsaturated fat, 4.5 g polyunsaturated fat), 30 mg cholesterol, 6 g protein, 41 g carbohydrate, 2 g fibre, 24 g sugars, 230 mg sodium.