Authentic Thai Recipe Ingredient: Five Spice Powder

Photo of Five Spice Powder and How it is Used in Authentic Thai Recipes.

Five Spice Powder

(Phong phalo)
The Chinese five-spice powder is used mainly in Thai-Chinese dishes such as mu phalo (pork stewed in soy sauce).

The formulae are based on the Chinese philosophy of balancing the yin and yang in food. There are many variants. The most common is bajiao (star anise), cloves, cinnamon, huajiao (Sichuan pepper) and ground fennel seeds. Instead of true cinnamon, "Chinese cinnamon" (also known as rougui, the ground bark of the cassia tree, a close relative of true cinnamon which is often sold as cinnamon), may be used. The spices need not be used in equal quantities.

Another variant is tunghing or "Chinese cinnamon" (powdered cassia buds), powdered star anise and anise seed, ginger root, and ground cloves.

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