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Chinese Spices



These are the spices generally used in Chinese Five Spice. You will notice that more than five spices listed here; this is because there is no clear definition of exactly which five spices to use.

Cassia Bark (Chinese Cinnamon Bark)

Cassia Bark is known as "Chinese Cinnamon", and comes in the form of sticks that are like big sticks of cinnamon. It has almost exactly the same flavour as cinnamon, except deeper and perhaps more "spicy". It is one of the Chinese Five Spices.

Ground Cassia (Ground Chinese Cinnamon)

Ground cinnamon powder is the ground form of Cassia Bark (above), and as such is one of the Chinese Five Spices.

Fennel Seeds

Fennel Seeds have an aniseed-like flavour, and are usually used in Chinese 5-spice.


Cloves are familiar to most people, and were one of the first spices to be imported into Europe. They are found throughout all cuisine, including curries, sweets and mulled wine, and are also used to make pomanders and incense. They have strong anti-microbial and anaesthetic properties and are commonly used for medicinal purposes.

Star Anise Whole

Star Anise is similar in flavour to aniseed, and is commonly used in Chinese cooking, and is one of the "five spices".


Aniseed is less popular in Chinese cooking than Star Anise, but it has a similar flavour. It is not really one of the five spices, unless you cannot find any star anise, but star anise is available (see above).

Ginger (Spice)

Ground ginger is often added to five-spice, and is commonly used in China.

Szechuan Pepper

Szechuan pepper is very different from normal pepper. It's very spicy and works particularly well with Chinese meat dishes. It is sometimes regarded as one of the five spices.

Chinese Five Spice

Ready-Mixed Chinese Five-Spice
Combine with chillis for extra impact or add to coconut powder for a delicious sauce.

Other Chinese Spices



Arrowroot is generally used as a thickener in Chinese cooking. It gives Chinese sauces their thickness (e.g. sweet and sour sauce, or barbecue sauce). It has a neutral flavour and is equally suitable for thickening European sauces such as gravy. It is not in itself "spicy" in any way.


Garlic is used throughout Chinese cuisine. We supply a range of forms of garlic including paste, powder and flakes that make it quicker and easier to cook with garlic, with no peeling or chopping required. They also offer very good value for money.

Chillies and Chilli Powder

Chillies are used often in Chinese cooking. We sell a variety of chilli flakes and powders in economy-sized bags.

 Related Categories

World Flavours Spices Food Cupboard

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