Do you like 5 spice but are looking for some alternatives? Well, you have come to the right place to find the best 5 spice substitutes out in the market.
Five-spice is a type of powder that is popular in Asian cuisine. It is very flavorful and considered one of the main ingredients for marinades.
As the name has shown you, there are 5 spices in total that are used to make delicious food. The five spices are:
- Fennel seeds
- Sichuan peppercorn
- Star anise
- Chinese cinnamon
Just know that you can interchange these ingredients and still make a tasty dish. Long story short, these seasonings can help bring out the aniseed taste in all meals.
Fun fact: The 5 spices represent the Chinese elements known as chi. Each of the five “chi” has a major organ. Thus, each of the spice flavours will stimulate the organ in a different way. There are sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami flavours that bring out all the tastes in a dish.
Anyway, let us at The Average Cook go over some of the best substitutes for 5 spices!
Za’atar – 5 Spice Substitute #1
Za’atar is many different spices blended into one, combined with herbs.
The mixture includes sumac, thyme, salt, marjoram, and salt. Alternatives such as fennel seeds are also common in Za’atar.
Depending on where you live, the recipe to make this seasoning will be different. It is all dependent to the culture that is in a location.
As for the flavours, Za’atar has a nutty and sweet taste to it with some hints of citrus. It is certainly amazing to add in any veggie or meat dish – all of which would taste great after this seasoning is added!
If you are considering using Za’atar as a 5 Spice Substitute, be sure to start the increment level in small amounts. It is always easier to add more to the dish rather than to try and reduce the amount you added.
Baharat – 5 Spice Substitute #2
In Arabic, Baharat will translate into the word “spices.” It is only appropriate that we include this flavorful spice in our 5 spice substitute list.
This spice is actually made out of seven different ones. It is commonly used in dishes in Middle Eastern cuisine. The 7 spices include cumin, cinnamon, paprika, cardamom, nutmeg, coriander, and last but not least, nutmeg.
Similar to the Za’atar spice, there are variations to the Baharat spice depending on where in the region you live in. Variations can include adding some saffron and mint to the spice itself.
This spice is commonly used in dishes that contain lots of proteins such as chicken or beef. It works great in rice dishes as well.
As for the taste, Baharat will have flavours that remind you of earthy and smoky ones.
Read more: Agave Nectar Substitute : Our Top 7 List
Star Anise – 5 Spice Substitute #3
Star Anise is a pretty popular 5 spife substitute. This spice has a taste that resembles fennel seeds and clove – a similar flavour when compared with the 5 spices.
The star anise spice is good to use when making any dish involving stews or soup. It can also be good to bake goods and meat.
Tip: Remove the star anise from your dish at the end of the cooking stage.
People also combine the star anise spice with onions and ginger to enhance the flavour even further.
Dillweed and Cinnamon Sticks – 5 Spice Substitute #4
Dillweed and cinnamon sticks also make a good alternative to the 5 Spice Chinese spices. It is also something that is usually found in the kitchen which makes it very simple to use.
However, this spice is not something you can simply just throw into your dish. Some prep is required.
If you add the dillweed and cinnamon sticks into your dish without prepping, it will just make the dish look less attractive presentation-wise. The method to prep is by chopping it up into smaller pieces first.
Adding cinnamon sticks to your dish, for example, will introduce an earthy and woody taste to your meal that I believe most people will enjoy.
Read more: Are Strawberries Acidic?
Ras Elhanout – 5 Spice Substitute #5
The final 5 spice substitutes that we will mention in this article is the Ras Elhanout. It is popular in Morrcon cuisine.
Again, the Ras Elhanout spice will differ based on where you live in the country. However, the common flavours include anise, ginger, pepper, cinnamon, and turmeric. This spice is known to mix up to 80 different spices together – so there are many variations for sure!
The Ras Elhanout spice is best used to rub into the meat itself, making it great for any dish that involves stews and soup.
Expect to taste a mix of flavours including woody and sweet with a hint of spice.
Final Thoughts on 5 Spice Substitute
Congrats! You have now learned 5 alternatives to 5 Spices. Like any kind of dish, there are always variations that you can try to enhance your meal.
It is always good to experiment with new spices to really test your cooking abilities. In this way, cooking in the kitchen will always be exciting as you will never know what end result will come out from cooking with new spices.