Chinese Five Spice Chicken

The five flavors in Five Spice powder is that of sweet, bitter, sour, salty and pungent. They refer to the five elements of fire, water, wood, earth and metal in traditional Chinese medicine. Any imbalance of the elements in the body leads to illnesses. Interestingly this is closely related to the Indian Vastu system where our five senses must be in harmony with the five elements of air (vayu), water (jal), earth (bhumi), fire (agni) and space (akash) to ensure a healthy and successful life. In Ayurveda it is called the ‘Panchabhootas‘ ot ‘Tattva‘.

The Chinese five powder is a combination of the following spices: Sichuan peppercorns, fennel seeds, star anise, cloves and cinnamon. Sometimes galangal is also used. The spice mix is rich in antioxidants and minerals like copper, manganese and iron. The spices add a wonderful aroma to sweet and savory dishes and can be used as a rub or marinate for protein @sarchakra

PREP TIME: 10 mins

COOK TIME: 15 mins

YIElLDS: Serves 2-3


  • Chicken breast 1 lb, boneless and skinless, cut into small pieces
  • Cornstarch 2 tbsp
  • Egg 1
  • Black pepper 1 tsp
  • Chinese Five Spice 2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying plus 1 tbsp
  • Broccoli florets 1 cup
  • Onion 1, small. cut into thick chunks
  • Ginger 1 tbsp, cut into small pieces
  • Garlic 3 cloves, cut into small slices
  • Red chili flakes 1 tsp
  • Soy sauce 1 tbsp
  • Sambal olek 1 tbsp
  • Dark sesame oil 2 tsp


  • In a bowl mix together egg, cornstarch, salt, 1 tsp Chinese five spice and pepper. Put in chicken pieces. Mix to coat chicken pieces.
  • Heat oil. Fry chicken pieces till golden on all sides. Keep aside. Remove all the oil except 1 tbsp.
  • Heat oil. Put in garlic and ginger. Stir fry for a few seconds.
  • Add onion and red pepper flakes. Add in broccoli florets. Put in sambal olek and stir.
  • Add in fried chicken, rest of the Chinese five spice, soy sauce, sesame oil. Stir fry on high heat for one minute.
  • Serve Chinese Five Spice Chicken with jasmine rice.

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Chinese Five Spice Chicken

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