If you want to add an Asian accent to a dish, there are three ingredients, any one of which will do the job: Hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and five spice powder. Five Spice Powder is a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and Szechwan peppercorns. Some recipes also contain ginger, nutmeg, and licorice. If you don’t want to bother making your own, it is available in the spice or Asian section of better super markets, and Penzeys.com has a good one.
Since there is no salt in this recipe, (click here to read why our rub recipes do not have salt), salting the meat first is a must. This process is called dry brining. Salt will penetrate deep into meat so you should get it on in advance, perhaps overnight. The rest of the spices and herbs cannot penetrate very deep, so the rub can go on anytime, even just before you start cooking. The general rule of thumb is 1/2 teaspoon Morton Coarse Kosher Salt per pound (453.6 grams) of meat (don’t include bone, and ribs are about half bone).
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground clove
- 1 tablespoon ground fennel seed
- 1 tablespoon ground Szechwan peppercorn
- 1 tablespoon ground star anise
Optional. Some commercial blends can't count and add black pepper, ginger, nutmeg, and licorice. I usually add 1 teaspoon each of ginger and nutmeg.
These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page
- If you have only whole cloves, fennel seed, Szechwan peppercorns, or star anise, you can grind them in a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle. I use a coffee grinder. Whole seeds grind down to much less volume, so use about 1.5 times the quantity before grinding. In other words, if you don't have fennel seed powder, start with 1 ½ tablespoons of fennel seeds, and grind them to powder. You might need 2 tablespoons of star anise seeds to make 1 tablespoon of powder. You don't have to be precise in making this blend.